Thursday, 6 January 2011

Nigeria: Senate leader Teslim Folarin charged with murder

A Nigerian court has charged the leader of Senate, Teslim Folarin, in connection with the murder of the chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Lateef Salako (Eleweomo). A socio-cultural group, Oyo Patriotic Elders (OPE), commended the court and said that the verdict was proof of Nigeria's democracy.

A statement issued by OPE President Folorunsho Alawaye said, “This is the first time in this country that a lead suspect would be discovered early in a crime. This indicates that the murder of Eleweomo will not go unpunished. The police have done well by arresting Folarin and others.”

Salako was gunned down last week during a dispute at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) meeting in the city of Ibadan. Folarin, who was present at the meeting, is expected to remain in custody in Agodi prison until a bail hearing in late January. Three other men have also been charged in connection with the killing.

The PDP meeting, which was held in Oyo State, was followed by scenes of violence and unrest. Various sources have reported that Salako was shot by unidentified gunmen. It is suspected that Salako may have been killed by his rivals, who protested his appointment as the Chairman of Oyo State's National Union of Road Transport Workers.

In September, when Salako's appointment was validated violent clashes broke out among opposing factions, leaving many injured and dozens killed.

Sources: The National Newspaper, BBC News, Vanguard

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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