Home News NHRC to invite MC Oluomo, Kogi gov for interrogation over alleged violence

NHRC to invite MC Oluomo, Kogi gov for interrogation over alleged violence

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On Sunday, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC said it would invite Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and the Chairman of Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, alias MC Oluomo, over their alleged inciting comments amid the general elections.

Before the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25, Bello reportedly ordered bulldozers to demarcate a road linking Kogi Central Senatorial District.

The opposition claimed that the action was a ruse to stop representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from delivering election materials to Natasha Akpoti-PDP Uduaghan’s stronghold.

While MC Oluomo allegedly warned Igbo in Lagos to stay indoors if they would not vote for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the All Progressives Congress(APC).

But speaking during the presentation of the NHRC preliminary report on the 2023 governorship and state Assembly elections, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu (SAN), said both Bello and MC Oluomo would be invited for interrogation.

He said: “We are monitoring cyberspace to track hate speeches and cyberbullying. Part of the sources of our information is in cyberspace. We’ll invite MC Oluomo for questioning because his statement is worrisome. I listened to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State yesterday (Saturday) and he said they were investigating. But that will not stop the commission from carrying out its mandate. We will also invite the Kogi State governor for questioning over what happened in Kogi State.”

According to Ojukwu, the commission, as part of its mandate to promote and protect human rights, deployed 600 officials to monitor polls across the 36 states for the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

He said the preliminary report highlighted critical findings by the commission’s officials deployed to monitor over 1,300 polling units nationwide.

Ojukwu said: “The environment before the elections was fraught with tension arising from reports and allegations of threats from different political parties and their supporters concerning the elections. Ethnic division and hate speeches were rife in many states, including Lagos, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna and Rivers. This led to the publication by the NHRC of an advisory on hate speech based on ethnic and religious sentiments and the 2023 general elections in Nigeria on March 16, 2023.

“In Lagos, Enugu, Ebonyi and a few other states, there were threats of violence on opposition supporters, including the use of traditional institutions, schools and the public service. The advisory highlighted areas of concern for the commission and recommended steps to be taken by the various agencies to address the issues before, during and after the elections.”

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