The family of a late Nigerian Senator, Isiaka Adeleke, have warned the government of Osun State not to politicise the death of their brother.
According to a statement signed by the deceased’s immediate younger brother, Adedeji Adeleke on Wednesday, the family said the sudden arrest of Alfred Aderibigbe, a nurse alleged to have been at the centre Mr Adeleke’s death, was an attempt by the state government make a political end.
Mr Adeleke, who was the first civilian governor of Osun State, 1992-1993, died in April 2017. A coroner’s inquest was opened following the controversy that followed the death, which family and political loyalists said was unnatural. That led to the recommendation that the nurse who allegedly overdosed Mr Adeleke be prosecuted.
The State Government charged Mr Aderibigbe with murder before a State High Court, Ede, last Friday. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded in prison. But the Adeleke family said the prosecution came too long after the recommendation was issued and that suggested a political motive.
The family statement read: “The attention of the Adeleke family has been drawn to the recent publication of the sudden re-arrest and prosecution of the Nurse that was involved in the treatment of our dearly beloved brother and hero; Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke who sadly passed away on the 23rd of April, 2017.
“We are all aware that the Osun State Government set up a Coroner’s inquest which sat from the 8th of May, 2017 and recommended the prosecution of Mr Alfred Aderibigbe who was the Nurse alleged to have administered drugs on Senator Isiaka Adeleke.
“The Nurse has been roaming the streets freely and undisturbed. The government did not consider it necessary nor important to make available to the family the details report of the autopsy conducted on our late brother as well as the detailed report of the coroner’s inquest. We have had to resort to getting information from the media just like every other member of the public as if we are not a related party.
“The family is concerned about the further politicisation of demise of Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke especially with the timing of the sudden interest in the matter after over a year of inaction on the part of Osun state government more so that elections to change the mantle of leadership of the state is so close. There is also unfounded news in the social media about the family being behind the sudden re-arrest and prosecution of the nurse, this is far from the truth! The family is not involved. There is also a growing suspicion that the recent “arrangement” of the Rauf Aregbesola government is to achieve the ultimate goal of a grand cover-up of the truth behind the death of Alhaji Isiaka.
“The General public is hereby enjoined to help us ask the government why the inaction for over a year? Why the publicity around the arrest and prosecution? The general public is hereby put on notice to be vigilant of the manipulative moves of this highly discredited and unfavoured Rauf Aregbesola administration.
“As law-abiding citizens, the family cannot interfere with the judicial process that has recently commended, but we do sincerely pray that the judiciary; the last hope of the common man and only hope for Justice for the deceased, will rise to her noble calling to serve justice without fear or favour. We will be sending the family lawyer to observe the proceedings in court as it progresses.”
However, the spokesperson for the government, Adelani Baderinwa, could not be reached by phone for comments. Several calls placed to his phone were not answered.
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