The bereaved family of late Monsuru Hamzat killed by suspected political thugs during the presidential and National Assembly election in Oyo state, on Tuesday, pleaded with the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to free a former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja, currently in a detention facility in Abuja.
Following the killing of Monsuru, the men of the state police invited Arapaja, who claimed he was the target of the attack on the polling booth in his family compound, Arapaja compound, Kudeti, in Ibadan South-East Local Government.
He was then released after almost two days in Iyaganku, Ibadan. But, last Friday, the police whisked him away to an unknown destination in Abuja with family and political supporters, describing the development as “political persecution”
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, the grandfather of Monsuru, Alhaji Alimi Alabi, and the victim’s father, Wasiu Hamzat, said that the Federal Government should bear the responsibility of the death of their son rather than wrongly persecuting an innocent person for the murder of their child.
Alabi said: “Federal Government should be blamed for the death of our son because they didn’t give us adequate security men at the polling unit.
“There was only one police officer, and the officer was a female. What can a woman do? They promised to ensure adequate security during elections.
“Arapaja is our political father in the community, he has been taking care of us for decades. They should release Arapaja, he didn’t kill our son. We are pleading to the federal government to vindicate him.
“We are pleading with the government to drop the charges against Arapaja because he is innocent. Arapaja is our son, he is our umbrella in Idi Arere community, they should release him for us,” Alabi begged.
The father of the deceased, Hamsat confirmed that Arapaja was at the scene but also ran for his life when the incident took place. We were there together that day, he was even lucky that day.
“It has never happened before, for the past 40 years, we’ve been voting there. Arapaja is my elder brother, we belong to the same family. The child in question is also his child…
“It wasn’t Arapaja that killed my son, he himself was almost a victim that day. So I beg the Federal government to show Arapaja mercy because he is innocent.
“If I was not there, we could have said something shady happened. Arapaja is innocent. We went to the police station at Iyaganku and they asked me if Ambassador killed my child and I told them he is innocent.” Hamzat said