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SDP's Ajaka says killed Kogi crime kingpin Owo Bala was APC 'tough man'

Muritala Yakubu Ajaka

Kogi SDP governorship candidate, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP in Kogi governorship election, Muritala Ajaka, has said Kabir Owo Bala, the alleged leader of criminal gang who was killed in Ejule community of the state on Thursday was former ‘tough man’ of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and was once granted pardon after he was arrested by Governor Yahaya Bello.

The Police had alleged that the deceased was a criminal kingpin responsible for many killings in the state, including the murder of PDP Women leader in 2020.

However, while condemning Thursday’s killing of Bala and one Mrs Atima Abdulahi in Ejule, by law enforcement agents, Ajaka describing it as “extra judicial.”

Ajaka laid the blame for the murder on the door step of electoral violence by agents of the state, calling for thorough investigation into the killings.

In the statement issued by his Director of Communications, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, Murtala argued that contrary to the toga of criminality being hung on his head, Owo may have killed for recently changing political his allegiance.

“The Murtala Yakubu Ajaka Gubernatorial Campaign Organization is alarmed by the official confirmation of the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr Akeem Yusuf that the extra judicial execution of an All Peoples Congress (APC) Chieftain, Mallam Kabir Okwo Bala and a housewife, Mrs Atima Abdullahi by gunmen unleashed on the Ejule Community of Ofu Local Government Area in the early hours of this morning was masterminded by the State Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

“We are aware that the late Okwo was accused of several felonies by the state commissioner of police after his execution but we totally reject the use of these allegations rightly or wrongly as excuse to kill a citizen who could easily have been arrested and prosecuted over the years if indeed the state government ever considered him a criminal.

“But it is worth pointing out that as admitted by Police Commissioner, Okwo was freed from prison in 2018 by Governor Yahaya Bello on the grounds that he was not a criminal but a political prisoner jailed by the PDP.

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“It is therefore curious that after the invasion of Ejule last night during which his family house and several other properties were burnt down by state agents, Okwo was suddenly declared a criminal.

“But the dead man now declared a criminal was a regular guest at Bello’s Lokoja Government House where he was known to have been treated as royalty.

“Perhaps the Kogi State Government will be gracious enough account to the people and the world how a man previously declared innocent and granted state pardon by the same Governor Bello degenerated into such heinous crimes to the point of engaging in gun battles with the Nigerian Navy more than one year ago yet there was never any attempt to arrest and prosecute him.

“Rather according to the commissioner he had to be appealed to and pampered to release AK47 Rifles he allegedly seized from the Navy in a firefight.

“Truth is that the plot for this extra-judicial Killing was hatched after the late Okwo openly renounced his support for Mr Yahaya Bello in a now viral video and declared he will not be supporting his candidate in the impending November 11th Governorship Elections.”

Adejoh-Audu said cases of setting up opponents for arrests or assault are becoming regular in the state and urged the Federal government to intervene.

“We totally condemned this desperation and bloodletting which has become the hall mark of Mr Bello’s politics in Kogi State and we appeal to the Federal Government to rein in this person to save the lives of citizens whose only crime is that they dare to exercise their democratic rights to reject him.”

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