Scores of people marched in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Monday in support of the transfer of some suspected cultists to Abuja.
The demonstrators, under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Kwara Citizens, marched round the Adewole Estate area and displayed placards with different inscriptions.
Some of the placards read, ‘Vote of confidence in IGP,’ ‘Let justice prevail,’ and ‘Kwara workers are hungry, while cultists are feeding fat.’
The spokesman for the group, Gbadeyan James, stated that the movement of the suspects from Ilorin to Abuja was a normal procedure in police investigation.
He said, “There is no need for anybody, including the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to entertain fear about the development.
“This is not the first criminal matter to be transferred from Kwara State to Abuja.
“In the wake of the 2003 election that ushered in the administration of Senator Bukola Saraki as governor, allegations were made against some Ilorin indigenes on plans to bomb Saraki’s National Pilot newspapers’ office.
“The case was eventually moved to Abuja. Similar cases that were transferred to Abuja from Kwara included the Fulani/vigilante group clashes in Alapa, in the Asa Local Government Area of the state. The Offa poly students/OPC and Oro Ago Fulani/farmers crises were also transferred to Abuja,” he said.
James said considering the peculiarity of the cultists matter, Abuja was the appropriate place to handle the case to ensure diligent investigation and prosecution, as well as reveal sponsors of the crime.
He appealed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr. Walter Onnoghen, to advise the leadership of the Kwara State judiciary not to allow itself to be used on matters that were outside its purview.
“The people of Kwara State and indeed Nigerians are watching what becomes of this case. We will not relent in bringing justice to the matter. We shall go beyond the shores of this land to get it and we shall do all within to ensure that party politics is not used to scuttle the course of justice,” he added.
The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aminu Saleh, had recently paraded some suspected cultists – Lanre Soliu, Abolaji Safti, Yusuf Habbed, Umar Yahaya, Soliu, Azeez Moyaki and Suleiman Babatunde – for alleged involvement in cultism.
However, Saraki raised the alarm that the transfer of some of the suspects from Ilorin to Abuja was to implicate and accuse him of murder.