The attention of the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), has been drawn to the purported invitation of Dr. Patrick Osagie Eholor (a.k.a. Ultimate Equals), the President/Founder of the One Love Foundation, by the Edo State Police Command, ostensibly to arrest him and do the bids of the Edo State Government and some powerful persons in the state, over a flimsy matter, about which the accusers of Dr. Eholor ought to take a legal civil action, if they felt aggrieved, and not draft in the police to do their dirty jobs.
The statement was made by Comrade Tony Erha, National Convener of the umbrella body consisting of NGOs, students/youth bodies and the organised Labour bodies etc., from its headquarters in Abuja, the Federal capital.
Emphasized Erha; “We are also using this opportunity to draw the attention of LASCO’s teeming members nationwide and the general public to the clandestine attempts to arrest and detain Ultimare Equals, over certain newspaper’s comments allegedly made by his person, criticising some highly placed actors of the state government, that relate with the ongoing petroleum pump price increase and crisis in Edo”
Talking about the Eholor’s statement, which may have led to his invitation by the Edo Police, Erha said that Dr Eholor, by a recent publication in the Vanguard News Paper of May 3, 2023, did not err with his mere advise to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, to live by the good example, as Erha identified the Eholor’s statement hereunder.
“Let me also use this opportunity to talk to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, he is my brother, he allegedly has numerous filling stations, and should live by example so that he can sell his petrol at the regulated and approved pump price so others would follow suit, and that will also give him the courage and strength of character to punish other people who violate the approved pump price of PMS”.
Comrade Erha, in the statement, warned that the plan to detain the human rights activist in any guise cannot stand as the accusations leveled against Eholor were no longer tenable due to a judgement by the ECOWAS Court, on the matter.
Therefore we are surprised that the Edo State Police Command, who should have known better, is the same that is being misled to invite and arrest Eholor over a case of false information, cyber bullying, and other sundry related offence that had long been outlawed by the judgement of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice in a suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/09/19 filed before it by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It has declared illegal the Section 24 of Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act as inconsistent and incompatible with Freedom of Expression etc.
Erha cautioned that Dr. Eholor is a notable and front-line activist, forthright public commentator and caregiver, whose public-oriented activities are well-known, suffice that his goodwill and that of his One Love Foundation, had always impacted on the wellbeing on the Police Force nationwide, as well as those of his traders, who have failed to follow due legal processes.
Concluding, Erha said “LASCO will never fold its hands as conscientious individuals and institutions in the country such as Dr. Eholor and the One Love Foundation are being dragged on the bare floor”
“We are calling on the traducers of Dr Eholor and the Edo Police Command to thred carefully on this matter. For it is better to let the sleeping dog lie down” He added.