The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), chapters in Ogun state, have described the call by a faction of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), to disqualify the nomination of a former Commissioner of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), Barrister Mutiu Agboke, as a Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as baseless and mischievous.
A faction of IPAC led by Abayomi Arabambi, had written a petition to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, alleging that Agboke, who conducted the last local government and local council development area elections in the state, last October, is a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
In a statement jointly signed by the state chairman of CDHR, Comrade Yinka Folarin and state chairman of TUC, Comrade Bunmi Fajobi, said the petition is non-evidential and non-constructive.
The bodies challenged IPAC to substantiate its claim with membership identification card and any other document to confirm Agboke’s membership of APC.
The petition reads in part: “The CDHR and TUC, having studied the circumstances surrounding the non-evidential, baseless and non-constructive petition addressed to the Senate President of the National Assembly and received 21st April, 2017, demanding for the disqualification of Agboke’s nomination, we intend to put the record straight for the discerning people of Ogun state, the national assembly at large.
“The factionalized Arabambi-led IPAC falsely claimed in their petition that Barr. Agboke is a member of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), however, failed to substantiate with any substantive evidence such as the APC membership identification card or any other document so confirming his membership, and any failure upon which such allegation must be regarded as rather misleading, destructive, inconsistent and grossly mischievous and therefore be seen as outrightly barbaric”.
They, however, enjoined the leadership of the national assembly to discountenance the petition saying Agboke’s track records as a civil rights defender and a non-partisan professional with enviable repute, has continued to distinguish him in the society.
“Agboke has demonstrated capacity when he served as a Commissioner at the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC); a seasoned Peace and Conflict Resolution expert, and a human rights advocate with sterling qualities.
“We therefore jointly reiterate our uncompromising confidence in him as we have no doubts he will deliver on his national call much as we appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for discovering and making the right choice. Members of the public are enjoined to discard any unscrupulous act aimed at unworthily assassinating the incontrovertible, growing profile of Barrister Mutiu Agboke, whom we take as one of the few hopes of our nation,” the release added.