Human Rights lawyer and political activist, Kayode Ajulo recently had a bitter experience with kidnappers, who abducted him for several days. He was released unscathed about three days. His experience and attepts by the abductors to buy his conscience was met with disappointment. A Next interview
Well, the whole scenario started with the issue of offer of money, that is, N50 million if I could step down by some group of people. Honestly, they did not mention their names but we know where they were coming from.
Offering me N50 million and not only that the money is an insult on my personality.
I told them that this campaign is our resolve to represent people of Abuja and it is not me alone but the entire body of people that believe that we have to move on and very well too in Nigeria.
And I told them in my characteristics that instead of you offering me the money, whoever sent you, I am ready to give the person times two of the amount, that is N100 million. And since that time, they felt I was proving stubborn and I would be dealt with.
Penultimate Monday, our (AMAC) chairman of Labour Party was beaten and dragged to a police station. When I asked what offence he had committed, they said it was because he used camera phone to take the pictures of some unholy movement of voters’ materials.
And I said if that is the case, what he had done was normal; there is no offence in taking picture, particularly when you are perpetrating crime.
And what made the whole thing very funny was that they even deleted the pictures from his phone and he was kept in police detention for four days.
And as a lawyer, as a human right activist, I was agitating for his release, going up and down issuing press releases. It was in the course of this that I have been receiving several text messages that they are going to deal with me and that what happened to him would be a child’s play to what would happen to me.
I quickly called a press conference, where I told members of the press and the whole world that this is what is happening to me.
Also, I wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police and the commissioner of police in the FCT about the threat and nothing was done about it.
Then, on Thursday, while going on our campaign, visiting some media houses, when we got to Aso Radio, the one owned by the administration of FCT, as we were leaving the premises, I was accosted by two men. One of them was even wearing my campaign cap.
They hailed and greeted me and in the course of that, they jumped into the car with guns and asked me to drive on while the other convoy was following me.
They later ordered me to instruct all the convoys to go back that I would be having meeting somewhere which I did at gun point.
The driver was taken down and even initially, I was told that the driver has been shot for not complying with their order but when I was released, I saw him. I was made to face down and was later blindfolded. I was taken to an unknown place where I was for all those days.
What they were saying was that I was so stubborn that they wanted to know who was sponsoring me to think that I can take over Abuja.
Who are these people?
Honestly, I cannot say these are who they are but all I know is that it is those that don’t want change in Abuja who perpetrated this act. That is why I felt so bad when I was briefed on the statement credited to the commissioner of police in charge of Abuja during this election that he is suspecting that there must be a foul play in the whole incident; that I sponsored the kidnapping.
And I say that how will you expect a student going for an exam, feigning sickness that he will not write the exam. I have asked my lawyer to ask him to retract that statement because it is not only malicious but defamatory in all areas. And I was so shocked that when I met him; he was asking me several questions which I answered and he was asking in my presence whether his men visited the scene of the crime, which they say no and he said but he ordered them to do that; which means that investigation had not even commenced before he started talking.
That is why I have asked for the retraction of the statement because not only that it is malicious to my person but I said that it shows the ineffectiveness that we keep complaining about the police because before you say anything, you are supposed to have conducted an investigation; you are supposed to have a verifiable fact to say this is what happened.
How do you feel with the statement?
I feel insulted, I feel defamed because look, I am a lawyer for over 10 years. I have a reputation and I have been fighting for the right of the people. So it will be an insult to say that Kayode Ajulo sponsored a thing like that. What will I gain over it? At that point when I was supposed to be mobilising people.
Look, with this little time, I have understood the rudiment of politicking in Nigeria; that even if you have millions of people voting for you and without your agents on ground, my brother, nobody will record any vote for you. And at that particular time, I was yet to mobilise my agents, so where would the vote come from?
So what action now when the elections have been conducted?
As far as I am concerned, there is no election. The election is rejected in totality by me and I said something that if we should allow this to go like that, it means we are saying that whenever there is election, candidate should be kidnapped for you to win elections. Because I expect the federal government to really investigate this to bring the perpetrators to book because the planting of bombs started one day and the fact that nobody cares much about it, that is why you see all the bombings everywhere. So, I call on the federal government to probe the statement of the commissioner of police to see where he got that fact from.
What should INEC do?
My call on the INEC is to know that as far as we are concerned, there was no election in Abuja because any process that denied a candidate from contesting, that purposely scattered our campaign, purposely ensured that we did not partake in the election the way we should, I think that process is faulty and it should not be allowed.
Interview byTaiye Agbaje