IMPUNITY: Lawyers Petition Buhari over Commander of Navy Special Forces in Kogi State
President Muhammadu Buhari was on Sunday asked to sack the Chief of Naval Staff.
‘’We wish to state that the actions of Commander Akalezi and Chief of Naval Staff are a clear breach of the operational code of conduct of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria’’.
The President was also asked to arrest Commander Akalezi of NNS Lugard for all his dastardly acts.
‘’The Nigerian Navy was created by the force of law to protect the territorial waters of the Federal of Republic of Nigeria from external aggressions and to protect the country’s assets situate in waters. It is so disheartening that the Nigerian Navy under the current Chief of Naval Staff has derailed from their constitutional roles and delved into the murky waters of politics in Kogi State’’.
The call was made by a firm of Legal Practitioners, Demaki & Demaki.
‘’Nigeria is not a banana republic where laws are nonexistence or not obeyed. Nigeria has laws and no person or group of persons are above the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, Commander Akalezi and the Chief of Naval of Staff are not above the laws of the land. The action of Commander Akalezi and the Chief of Naval Staff dents the image of the disciplined officers of Nigerian Navy who are reputed for their bravery and uprightness; and, if left unabated will lead to breakdown of law and order; and destruction of lives and properties in Kogi State.’’
They accused the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, of using Akalezi to intimidate, kill, abduct and kidnap kogi indigenes opposed to his political ambitions.
‘’These series of extrajudicial killings, intimidation, abductions and kidnappings of Kogi indigenes have been occurring since 2019 and has not abated rather Akalezi is further emboldened to continue carrying out his dastardly acts. It is our brief also that the families of the victims of Akalezi’s brutality have written several petitions to the Department of State Security, the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief of Naval Staff; however, none were investigated by the respective authorities’’.
‘Entitled ‘Petition on the genocide and extra judicial killings/abduction/kidnappings of Kogi indigenes to wit, Hon. Musa Adelabu, Mr Rufai Jimoh, Mr. Hadi Abdulmaliki, Mr Kashim Ismaila, Ismaila Momoh, Mr. Monday Idowu and Mr. Abdulazeez Salami by Uchendu Nicholas Akalezi a.k.a (Charles Akalieze), Commander of the Navy Special Forces in Kogi State and the Chief of Naval Staff, the lawyers urged Buhari to direct that Commander Akalezi be arrested and brought to justice for all his genocidal acts.
‘’Commander Akalezi was reposted from NNS Kano, Lagos state to NNS Lugard in Kogi state on the 9th of January 2023 by the Chief of Naval Staff and that no form of disciplinary action was taken against him neither were our clients reached out to in furtherance of any investigation to their petition before the Naval Command. Also, the return of Commander Akalezi to Kogi was influenced by the Governor to have him continue his reign of terror on the people of Kogi Central during this critical yet vulnerable political season in a bid to frighten and scare the people from willfully exercising their civic responsibilities as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended’’.
In a letter to President Buhari, the lawyers said the Nigerian Navy under the current Chief of Naval Staff had derailed from constitutional roles and delved into the murky waters of politics in Kogi State.
‘’It is very shameful that the Chief of Naval Staff is allowing the Men and Officers of the Nigerian Navy to be the personal attack dogs/ killer squad used by the Government of Kogi State to eliminate its perceived political enemies’’
They accused the Chief of Naval Staff of shielding Commander Uchendu Nicholas Akalezi from the long arms of the law.
‘’It is our brief that since the return of Commander Akalezi back to Kogi State, he has boasted of Gov. Yahaya Bello’s support and financial influence over the Naval Chief making him untouchable and unanswerable to any petition. In view of reinstating fear in the indigenes and political opponents of the Kogi State governor/ Commander Akalezi with his team recently abducted one Ahmed whose whereabouts is still unknown’’.
They alleged that the said Akalezi has hands in the disappearance of over one hundred and fifty person of Kogi origin who are political opponents of Bello.
‘’It is a brief of fact that the said Commander Akalezi was transferred out of Kogi in the last quarter of 2022 by the Naval Authorities upon the uproar and protest against his illegal activities. The said transfer of Commander Akalezi out of Kogi State to NNS Kano in Lagos state brought relative peace to the state as indigenes of Kogi State were able to go about their political activities without the fear of being killed’’.
Calling Uchendu Nicholas Akalezi personal Hit man of the Kpgi State governor, the lawyers listed those kidnapped, extra-judicially killed and executed by Uchendu Nicholas Akalezi.
‘’Hon. Musa Adelabu who was the PDP Chairman of Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State has since been abducted by Akalezi and his team on the 10th day of August, 2019 from his residence and till this very moment hasn’t been found by his family nor close associates. Mr. Rufai Jimoh (A.K.A Lover) was abducted by the same Akalezi and his team on the 27th day of January, 2021 along Old Ageva Secretariat on the Lagos Highway and till this very moment, Mr Rufai Jimoh’s whereabouts is unknown, Mr. Hadi Abdumaliki was also abducted on the 3rd day of January, 2022 at Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area by the said Commander Akalezi and that Mr. Kashim Ismaila (A.K.A Kamuche) on the 21st of December, 2020 was abducted by Commander Akalezi and his team and till this very moment has not been seen or heard from’’
‘’That Ismaila Momoh was abducted/kidnapped from his house by the team led by same Akalezi. That Mr. Monday Idowu was also abducted/kidnapped on the 10th day of January, 2022 at Ihima by the Akalezi team in company of the Chairman of Okehi Local Government Area, Abdulraheem Ohiare, That Abdulazeez Salami was also kidnapped/abducted on the 10th day of July, 2019 by Akalezi and his team in company of one Abdulraheem Ohiare; the Chairman of Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State’’.
The lawyers denounced the roles played by the Chief of Staff to Governor Bello in the extra judicial killings, abduction and kidnapping.
‘’It is worthy of note that at every time these Extrajudicial Killings, Abduction and Kidnappings are being carried out by the said Commander Akalezi and his team, the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Mohammed Jamiu Asuku is always with Akalezi serving as a pointer in identifying the governor’s political opponents to be eliminated’’
On the brutality and killings of innocent youth corps members assigned to Kogi State for their mandatory one year service to the nation, the lawyers noted that Ogunwo Adetola Oluwaseye with state code KG/21C/2009 was tortured and brutalized by Commander Uchendu Nicholas Akalezi for no just cause.
‘’The brutality and killings are not also limited to our clients who are opposed to the Governor of Kogi State but also innocent members of the National Youth Serving Corps who are assigned to Kogi State for their mandatory one-year service to the nation. Worthy of note is the case of corp member Ogunwo Adetona Oluwaseye with state code KG/21C/2009 who was tortured and brutalized by Commander Akalezi for no just cause’’.
Signed by Shedrack M. Demaki Esq, the lawyers recalled several petitions written to the Chief of Naval Staff by the families of those killed by Commander Akalezi.
‘’Mr. President, dishearteningly, we notify you that that several petitions have been written to the Chief of Naval Staff by the families of those killed by Commander Akalezi using various human rights organizations and law firms. Nothing has been done by the Chief of Naval Staff to bring the perpetrator to justice. We wish to state that we are in receipts of the acknowledged copies of these petitions written to the Chief of Naval Staff which he has failed to act on’’.
The legal practitioners urged the president to order the arrest of Akalezi
‘We humbly urge you that Commander Akalezi be arrested and brought to justice. We further wish to State that the representatives of the above listed victims are willing to come forward to testify to all the atrocities that have been and are still being committed by Commander Akalezi’’.