Sunday, 27 December 2020

One Year After, Police Yet To Prosecute Killers Of Kogi PDP Woman Leader


One year after the gruesome murder of the Kogi State Peoples Democratic Party Women’s Leader, Mrs Salome Acheju Abuh, the murderers are still walking free.

The 60-year-old Salome was burnt alive in her matrimonial home in down town Ochadamu in Ofu Local Government Area of the state on November 18, 2019 in the heat of the governorship election won by Governor Yahaya Bello of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

As the family of the deceased kicks, security agencies charged with the task of fishing out her killers seem not to have done enough in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Husband of the late politician, Elder Simeon Babani Seidu Abuh, who spoke , said the family was still in trauma over the gruesome murder of his wife.

According to him, the family is deeply pained that justice was yet to be served in the  matter.

He said that he has written a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari demanding justice over the killing.

According to him, the petition also copied the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, among others.

The petition he said centred largely on an appeal for justice to prevail over the gruesome murder of his wife and the loss of property.

He wants a comprehensive investigation to be carried out into the matter.

Abuh also wants the government to address the issue of his apartments which were razed during the unfortunate incident.

He also called on the president to consider the plight of people whose properties were burnt by the political thugs alongside theirs.

According to him, six suspects were arrested but only one of them was charged to court.

Elder Simeon lamented that till now; nothing by way of assistance has come from any quarters despite appeals to governments, corporate bodies and spirited individuals.

“The family is waiting for justice”, he said, adding that he has instructed his lawyer, Daniel Makolo, to institute a suit at the  Economic Community of West Arican States (ECOWAS) court against the federal government for failing to protect his family during the last election.

He said the family recently put together, candlelight procession in her remembrance and also unveiled a foundation, “Salome Acheju Abuh Foundation” in her memory.

The occasion, he said was attended by the National Publicity Secretary of the  Peoples Democratic Party, Kola Olagbondiyan and  Kogi State PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Eng. Musa Wada.

Meanwhile, the PDP is not giving up in its commitment to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder.

This was manifested recently when the party, through the state’s publicity secretary, Mr Bode Ogunmola, reminded security agencies in the state to swing into action and fish out the culprits.

In Mr Ogunmola’s press statement, the killers of Mrs Acheju Abuh seem to enjoy the insulation of the powers that be in the state and so have not been brought to book to account for their role in the murder.

The party described the deceased as an astute leader whose commitment to good governance in the state remains unrivalled.

The party stalwart, he said, “paid the supreme price not for the party alone, but for her quest for good governance and democracy in a state of misrule by charlatans and their shenanigans.”

The people of Ochadamu community in Ofu LGA of Kogi State, where the incident happened, said they were not happy with the way the killing has been handled by the authorities.

A co-traveller on the same bus to Ochadamu told our correspondent that it was unfortunate that after one year, the culprits have not been brought to book to account for act.

According to him, the boys that reportedly perpetrated the acts were still being seen on a daily basis in Okele, a town close to Ochadamu.

“We know them and they know us but because they have the backing of the power that be, they become untouchable and pride themselves on that,” he said.

In Ochadamu and its environs, both commercial and social activities are in full swing.

But one thing is clear; the inhabitants are perpetually hunted by the hail of bullets that rented the air on the day Madam Salome was killed.

According to an elderly man who witnessed the sad event, “For three days running, nobody was seen in the village.

We hid ourselves and families in the bush for fear of being innocently arrested by the police.”

To him and the entire inhabitants of Ochadamu, it was a harrowing experience. He lamented that despite the cruelty meted to the late women’s leader, no arrest has been made.

The septuagenarian, who pleaded anonymity, said the murder took place in broad daylight.

“Mrs Salome was shot through the window of her apartment by her assailants and her house set on fire while she screamed,” he said.

Meanwhile, an agonising Gowon Abuh, a brother-in-law to late Mrs Abuh, said some suspected armed robbers were arrested in Idah some time ago and one of them happened to be among those who killed his brother’s wife.

To him, it was a kangaroo arrangement before the court of law which set them free on the orders of the powers that be.

An angry Abuh was worried that even the Peoples Democratic Party which his brother’s wife stood and died for remains mute in the face of injustice.

“You can see it yourself,” he said, adding that he has relocated to Anyigba for fear of being attacked. “There is no help from any quarters including the party that the woman belonged to.

The agitation by the Peoples Democratic Party, the family and the public, especially from Ochadamu community, seeking for justice is overwhelming. The killing was dastardly and unrivalled in the state.

With a burnt flat and two other structures partly torched, the scene of the crime is deserted.

One other building is under lock and key, and not a soul was found in the compound when our correspondent visited.

The compound is desolate probably because of the exit of Madam Salome and may remain so for a long time to come.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Kogi Command, Williams Aya said arrests were made in respect of the killing of the PDP women’s leader.

He said the suspects arrested have since been charged to court to face prosecution.

Daily Trust

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