A Pentecostal Bishop, Rt. Rev. Seun Adeoye has raised the alarm over the safety of an Osun based activist lawyer, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure his protection.
Ajibola, who is the current Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilesa branch has been in the eyes of the public after securing judgment over the renaming of Osun State to the “State of Osun”.
Briefing the media on Monday, March 19, 2018, in Osogbo, the state capital, Bishop Adeoye accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of planning not only to press criminal charge of tax evasion against Ajibola but also “take him out of circulation”.
The cleric, who is also the leader of Sufficient Grace and Truth Ministry (SGTM), alleged that he got information that the many cases filed against Governor Aregbesola has become a source of worry and right everything is being done to stop him.
Part of the statement read, “Nevertheless, while Bar. Ajibola won some of his cases; he also lost some of them. One of the astounding cases he won was the Court declaring the renaming of Osun State as “State of Osun” by Governor Aregbesola’s administration as illegal, null and void.
He listed some other seven suits including the one filed against the conduct of the last Local Government elections in the state being pursued by Ajibola.
“However, I am alarmed by a bit of information available to me with an ongoing project embarked upon by the state government to take away “troublesome” Kanmi Ajibola out of the system or out of circulation.
“It is learnt authoritatively that a Special Team coded ST and headed by a very close serving commissioner to Governor Aregbesola was being set up few weeks ago to find a lasting solution to Barrister Kanmi Ajibola and his many court matters. ST is heavily being funded by the state government. Already, several cards are being laid on the table to actualize this major goal.
“The first step was when few weeks ago he was singled out for nasty heavy taxation. The first tranche of bill sent to him by Internal Revenue Service of Osun State was N5.3 million. Again, another tax bill of N527,000 for the month of January, 2018 was sent to his law office in Ilesa last month February.
“Investigation revealed that no other person or office around Bar. Ajibola’s office received any tax bill. As envisaged, Bar. Ajibola has gone to court on this. At the last hearing of this case which was on March 6, 2018, the Osun State Attorney-General in person of Dr. Ajibola Basiru asked the court to give him time to respond to Bar. Kanmi Ajibola’s suit. The matter was fixed for April 16, 2018 for hearing.
“Anyway, the plan was clear. Aregbesola’s government knew very well that Bar. Ajibola has no money to pay this cruel tax bill and it is clear that there is no law chamber in Osun State that is viable to pay such a vindictive tax.
“Authoritatively, the state government plan was to institute a criminal charge of tax evasion against Bar. Kanmi Ajibola. The information I had was that Governor Aregbesola wanted him arrested, prosecuted and jailed. I can confidently tell you gentlemen of the press that a lot of documents were already being forged to put Bar. Kanmi Ajibola in prison.
“As things are now and apart from the tax matter, information available showed that there are other sinister and very dangerous moves that may likely take place against Bar. Kanmi Ajibola.
“So, I am more worried about the safety of this erudite and bold lawyer who is not only a special gift to Osun State but also a passionate man in the service to humanity. Bar. Kanmi Ajibola is the voice of the voiceless masses. He is a man fighting for the oppressed with his gown and law-books. He must be praised for challenging several illegalities of the current Osun State government.
“I stand with Bar. Kanmi Ajibola and I know that millions of other people in this state are with him, so he must live. Our demand is that nothing terrible must happen to Kanmi! If there is anything bad against him, there is just one direction we are all going to look at.
“I therefore call on traditional rulers and religious leaders in the state, the state chapters of NBA, the National NBA, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at both the state and the national levels, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) both at the state and the national levels and other political parties, former governors in the state, Civil Society Organizations in the state and across the federation, political gladiators and stakeholders in the Osun state project, security agencies and other concerned groups and individuals to rise up in defence of Bar. Kanmi Ajibola. He is like a dove in the midst of serpents.
“If project as this could be orchestrated against a caliber of an NBA Chairman, then, we must see it as a very serious matter. And as a cleric, it will be difficult for me to keep silent in the face of all forms of evil machination and satanic inclinations.
“I know as a matter of facts that Gov. Aregbesola possesses autocratic tendencies and is intoxicated by power. For instance, we can remember how Aregbesola’s State Boys attacked us on 7/7/2015 when members of the Coalition of Civil Societies for Emancipation of Osun State held a peaceful rally. We should also not forget in a hurry how Aregbesola ensured that a woman judge who criticized his style of government was forcefully booted out of the bench”.
According to Bishop Adeoye, Aregbesola cannot tolerate opposition or criticism while noting that the governor only garbed the garment of a democrat but he actually belonged to Hitlerism School of Thought.