The Commissioner, Osun State Police Command, Olawale Olokode, has offered reasons why the Command has been ignoring the faction of the All Progressives Congress loyal to a former Governor of the State and now Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
The CP offered the explanation in a detailed statement he presented to the media on Sunday during a news conference.
Olokode described the allegation against him and his office by the Aregbesola faction of the APC, operating under the aegis of The Osun Progressive, as a deliberate attempt to malign his name and bring disrepute to the command.
Speaking at the Command headquarters in Osogbo on the allegation by the Aregbesola group that he had pitched his tenth with the Ileri-Oluwa group loyal to Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s faction of the APC, he said: “The allegation is unfortunate. I, therefore, wish to say that if this does not stop, I, and the command will not hesitate to take legal action against all forms of lies and unfounded allegations from any corner.
“It is unfortunate that Osun State Police Command has been drawn to the statement credited to the Osun Progressives.
“The State Police Command is never and will never be an appendage of any political party or group and our actions and activities have shown such. We have been professional in the discharge of our duties by upholding our constitutional mandates as a Force. At no point have we deviated and we will never do at any time.
“I wish to state that we have been working on every petition received. The latest one that has to do with the SUBEB Chairman came to my knowledge recently, and our State Criminal Investigation Department under a Deputy Commissioner is seriously working on it. The petitioners came a couple of days ago, and they were assured of our readiness to get to the root of the matter.
“On the allegations of de-humanization, I wish to state that it has never been in my character, and those who know me can testify that I have never engaged in such. No amount of inducement can make me change my character.
“It is also pertinent to state that the recent attack on some APC members in Ikirun, Ifelodun local government was thoroughly investigated, and those suspected to be behind the crime were arrested. Among those arrested are two members of the TOP group, one from Ileri-Oluwa and two persons confirmed not to be politicians. They were all charged to court, and at no point did my office interfere with the investigation. So no persecution or de-humanization at any point.
“To continue maintaining fairness, all Area Commanders, Departmental Heads, Tactical Commanders, and Divisional Police Officer are put on their toes. This was done to ensure that the Command is not only doing the needful but also showing fairness to all.
“On why police were not present at the venue of their parallel congress on October 16, 2021. It is a known fact that the congress of the APC was a national affair and a letter was sent to the Inspector General of Police. The venue of each state was stated and no other venue other than the Osogbo township stadium was stated in the letter I received. The committee from Abuja, including INEC officials, were at the stadium and that’s why we mobilized our men to the stadium to provide security. No other letter was sent to my office by any other group.
“Notwithstanding this, upon receiving their petitions, all those fingered were invited during the course of our investigation and no one was found culpable. Police do not work on emotions but with facts unravelled during our investigations.
“On the allegation that I masterminded the disruption and attack at the APC secretariat on August 13, 2021. I see this as a complete attack on my personality. I left everything I was doing to personally lead operations at the said building and till the end. The attack was investigated and those fingered by suspects were charged accordingly. The group should provide more empirical facts to substantiate these allegations.
“It is on record that the Appeal committee, led by Ambassador Obed Wazdani upon completion of its assignment praised the effort of Osun Police Command, by being ‘very professional’ in providing protection for them. Their full statement and report can be accessed on the internet.
“I wish to state that there’s no meeting we were invited to and we refused to attend. We do attend programmes when invited and I have personally led my men to some of such meetings. Those I can remember vividly was the commissioning of computer sets at Muslim Grammar School, Ilesha, in January 14, this year.
“The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, surprised by my presence, made some comments and advice about our operations. Another one was at Zenabab Hotel and Resorts on 6 June, 2021, when an Awolowo Center for Philosophy was honouring the Minister at 64.
“I want to state that despite that the command was not informed of any meeting at Oranmiyan House where an attack was reported, we quickly mobilized our men to the place. Apart from this, the police have investigated all the attacks, including the recent one at the Oranmiyan House in Osogbo and when needs be, suspects will be prosecuted.
“For the record, since I have been posted to the state in December 2020, I have done my best to ensure that Osun State remains one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. We are all aware of the hitherto prevalent cases of kidnapping across Osun State which has now been subdued by the war we waged against them.
“We promptly deploy our officers to the volatile parts of the state where cases of kidnapping were rising, freed many victims, and arrest kidnappers many of whom have been prosecuted. We can all testify that the kidnapping case in Osun is becoming a thing of the past.
“I wish to categorically state that democracy cannot thrive in the atmosphere of chaos and violence. There should be a cordial relationship between the police, other security agencies, the media and all political parties who should perform their roles as expected. I urge all our political parties and different groups to eschew violence and focus on the way to move the country forward.
“As political atmosphere gets tense, Osun Police Command under my watch will not tolerate any act that can throw away the peace of the state. We will continue, not only to respond to issues but be proactive in tackling any matter that can jeopardize the peace of the state.
“We’re ever ready to continue working with all stakeholders to prevent the breakdown of laws and orders. We want to warn politicians to do their politics without dragging the Force into it.
“We wish to reassure all residents of Osun State to continue with their lawful activities without entertaining any fear.”