Oba-Akoko crisis: Committee receives 12 memoranda
By Adekola Afolabi
The Chief Femi Awani, Committee of Inquiry into the recent Oba-Akoko crisis, has received 12 memoranda from different groups and individuals over the March 9 crisis.
The chairman of the committee, Chief Femi Awani who made the disclosure at the inaugural public sitting of the committee held at the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Akure, also assured the participants of the readiness of the committee to do a thorough job in line with terms of reference.
The State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, constituted a 5-member Committee to unearth the circumstances surrounding the disturbances that occurred on March 9 during the conduct of Ondo State House of Assembly election in Oba-Akoko, Akoko South West local Government Area.
Awani asserted that the public sitting would provide an opportunity for individuals and groups to present their own sides of the story.
He listed the terms of reference of the committee to include, to look into the remote and immediate causes of the March 9 crisis in Oba-Akoko, to determine the extent of loss of lives and damage done to public and private properties and place cost on them, as well as to determine the role of individuals, groups and corporate bodies in the crisis.
Others are, to recommend appropriate disciplinary actions where necessary and to make such other recommendations which the committee may find necessary.
He informed the participants that the purpose of the gathering was to look into all the memoranda and take evidence from complainants and interested individuals and groups that submitted memoranda to the committee.
The chairman called on all leaders, sons and daughters, youths of Oba-Akoko and the public from Akoko South West to allow peace to reign throughout the duration of the public sitting, adding that those who would give evidence before the committee should do so sincerely, with all sense of responsibility and fear of God.
Awani specifically solicited for the cooperation of all to enable the committee accomplish its fact-finding assignment and make recommendations that would promote lasting peace, unity and progress among the kits and kin of Oba-Akoko land.
He reeled out the rules of the game, saying that in order to maintain decorum and orderliness, participants are to raise up their hands and wait to be recognised, avoid recording of proceedings and switch off their cell phones .
He also said legal representation is allowed but solicitors are to speak only on the memoranda submitted by their clients, and that intimidation in any guise is not allowed.
“I wish to stress at this point that this is not a Judicial Commission but an Administrative Committee of Inquiry albeit with quasi judicial roles. Our assignment is fact-finding in nature and this we are determined to do thoroughly with fear of God.
“We assure all concerned of a level playing ground and appeal for full cooperation to enable us get to the root causes of the disturbances, both remote and immediate, so that we can make appropriate recommendations that will restore lasting peace to Oba-Akoko as canvassed in some of the memoranda received “, the panel Chairman emphasised.