A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Aare Abdulsalam Abdullah, has said the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Teslim Folarin, knows nothing about the murder of the late chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, AlhajiLateef Salako popularly known as Eleweomo.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune at his residence in Ibadan, Abdullah said Eleweomo’s murder had to do with the political situation at that time and not that he was killed by Senator Teslim.
The former commissioner spoke on the backdrop of the statement made by Governor Seyi Makinde during a recent gubernatorial debate where he said the case file of the person who murdered Eleweomo was on his desk.
He said there was no case against Folarin as of the time he left office as Attorney-General contrary to the claims made by Governor Makinde.
Abdullah said the target was for Folarin not to contest the election against Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, adding that the case should be put to rest so that the state can move forward.
He said: “The fact of the matter is there was no single evidence against Teslim Folarin at that particular time. At that time, both Senator Folarin and the present chairman of the Park Management System (PMS), Mukaila Lamidi, popularly known as Auxiliary, were products of a political power game.
“As for Senator Folarin, by the time Eleweomo was killed, there was no evidence directly linking him with the murder other than the fact that they said he was going around about the time Eleweomo was killed; nobody linked Folarin with the crime.
“When Folarin was about to be taken to court, I actually said there was no crime against him, I said I’m not going to prosecute him as Attorney-General of Oyo State. I refused to prosecute Folarin, eventually, a lawyer was hired from Abuja to prosecute him.
“I, as Attorney-General at that time refused because my conscience would not allow me to prosecute an innocent person, so during the trial at a stage, I debriefed the prosecuting counsel from Abuja that why was he prosecuting the case that had no evidence.
“The police did not even submit the proof of evidence because as far as they were concerned, there was nothing against Folarin, so it is a bogus file that is with Governor Seyi Makinde, there is nothing to prosecute Folarin against.
“The file could be with the Governor but is there any evidence against Folarin in the file? I was the Attorney-General at that particular time and I refused to prosecute him because my conscience would not allow me to prosecute an innocent soul, but you know what politics is all about, they went ahead to hire a lawyer who prosecuted him; that is far as the case is concerned.
“I even wrote the President then, Goodluck Jonathan that between him and late Governor Alao Akala and former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bello Adoke that whoever that know about the death of Eleweomo, God will be there to judge and I think my letter is one of the reasons Jonathan did not forgive Akala because he eventually phoned Akala and Akala told me that the President called that look at what your Attorney-General wrote and Akala said, that is his opinion and I can not control my Attorney General, it was in the paper at that particular time.
“The governor in his wisdom, found Mukaila worthy of giving him responsibility of PMS; what the Governor should do now is to go ahead step further and grant state pardon to Auxiliary because having being put in a place of responsibility, it means he is a worthy citizen, so that the trigger of ex-convict will be removed from his name to be fair to him and I urged the governor to do that immediately.”