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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
An Akure based legal practitioner and Human Right Activist, Johnson Olumide Babalola has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu over series of unceasing threats to his life and that of family members.
The fiery lawyer has had his legal practice truncated due to threats of attacks from unknown persons in the last two years.
Babalola while calling for safety and protection through a press briefing in Akure, highlighted his plights in the hands of some anonymous attackers that wanted him to give up on a case or cases being pursued in court of law.
He however added that all efforts so far made by the police to unmask those behind the threats have not yielded any result.
Correspondent gathered from a letter duly signed by the Chairman of Akure Branch of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA and by Babalola himself, stating that he and his immediate family members have been living in the fear of possible attacks by some unknown persons.
The petition reads in parts, ” I Johnson Olumide Babalola, a Human Right Activist with set of beliefs and ideology. I have handled civil and criminal cases for different personalities, masses, less privilege and elites in the country amongst which are land, chieftaincy and fundamental human right cases”.
The petition further reads, ” I have successfully and still challenging unconstitutional practices of some security agencies, barbaric customs and tradition of some traditional leaders in my state, communities and environs, which conflict with fundamental human rights of the citizenry”.
Babalola who is known to be a law abiding citizen has expressed worry on why some faceless people would be determined to cut short his life on the ground of diligent performance of his constitutional duties as a lawyer and human right activist.
When asked to give instances of the threats to his life and that of his family members, Babalola said he had escaped deadly attacks from whiskers on two occasions.
He said while he was lucky to have escaped, his younger brother, Temidayo Babalola whom he sought safety at his home in Lagos was assassinated by the same set of faceless attackers while driving his (Babalola) car at Lekki area of Lagos.
He further informed that the case was reported at ‘Area A’ Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos without any arrest made till date because of the anonymous outlook of the perpetrators.
Babalola also declared that the attackers are after his life and his family members, simply on a revengeful mission. He nonetheless lamented the helplessness of the police on the series of the threats and his resort to living a nomad life since the relocation of his wife for safety in the US.
He however added that his wife, Adebusola was lucky to have survived a kidnap and robbery attack from some unidentified uniformed men in Ado-Ekiti.
Babalola further informed that his wife was encouraged to travel abroad for relaxation in the United States of America after she had became withdrawn, moody, frightened and highly depressed as a result of the incident of the kidnap and robbery.
He also gave insight into how some of his colleagues, partners and seniors in the legal profession he had previously worked with were gruesomely kidnapped and murdered on the suspicion of having jointly successfully prosecuted cases against the vested interests of the anonymous attackers.
Babalola also lamented that despite his present state of hopelessness and helplessness due to the visible threats to his life and that of his family members; the attackers still made an attempt at his life on March 17, 2019 while returning from a seminar in Bayelsa.
The Human right activist added that the essence of the petition by him is to call the attentions of all security agencies in Nigeria, the federal government and international communities to his pitiable situation of savage and concerted efforts to terminate his life.