Case Study A: Oyo State

This is where democracy starts in Nigeria. This place hosted the first university in West Africa. Everything started here. But the situation is deteriorating and now we have a government of illiterates, we have a politics of hooliganism, of violence, of moneybags. These are the kinds of people Adedibu brought into all levels of government.
—Senior Advocate of Nigeria (name withheld), Ibadan157

Nigeria’s southwestern state of Oyo calls itself Nigeria’s “pace setter,” reflecting a deeply held pride in the state’s reputation as a leader in the fields of commerce and education. Oyo’s capital city of Ibadan is one of the largest commercial centers in West Africa and the University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s oldest and one of its finest. But in recent years, Oyo has also pushed the frontiers of violence and corruption that characterize Nigeria’s nascent “democracy.”

The Godfather of Ibadan

Chief Lamidi Adedibu has been involved in Oyo politics since the 1950s. His many detractors allege that he got his start as a small-time organizer of political thugs for the Action Group party of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.158 By the late 1980s, however, he had emerged as a powerful political force through a combination of populist politics, patronage, violence, and extortion.159

Adedibu is an iconic figure in Nigerian politics, an example of the kind of power to which political godfathers aspire.160 When Human Rights Watch visited Adedibu’s Ibadan compound in the run-up to the 2007 elections, he held court sprawled across a large chair underneath a tin roof adjacent to his car park, which was crowded with a long-line of would-be supplicants. Adedibu’s every word brought nods or cheers from those who crowded around to listen, and several people who walked across his field of vision immediately prostrated themselves as a gesture of deference when he glanced up in their general direction.

Adedibu flaunts his political power quite openly, telling Human Rights Watch that, “I sponsor them, all of the politicians [in the state.]”161 Oyo’s current governor, Christopher Alao-Akala, is a protégé of Adedibu’s and told Human Rights Watch that “Chief Adedibu has sponsored everybody. Everybody who is who and who in Oyo State politics has passed through that place [Adedibu’s compound in Ibadan].”162 Adeolu Adeleke, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly until April 2007, eventually became an opponent of Adedibu’s but confirmed that he had initially obtained his sponsorship in order to get elected. “I did go to Baba and he did sponsor me,” he said. “I believed I could not do anything contrary to him. Some of my colleagues [in the House] also went to him.”163

Adedibu’s power flows primarily from his tremendous ability to mobilize violence and money in support of the politicians he sponsors. He also distributes cash and food to supplicants on a daily basis from his Ibadan home, a brand of patronage frequently referred to as “amala politics,” after a traditional dish common to Nigeria’s southwest.164

Many residents of Oyo prefer to use harsher terminology. As former PDP Senator Lekan Balogun put it: “He is notorious. He threatens people he wants to have vote for [his candidates] with machetes. His stock in trade is blackmail, violence and intimidation and everyone knows it.”165

Adedibu’s War Against Ladoja

Rashidi Ladoja served as Governor of Oyo State from 2003 to 2007. Adedibu supported Ladoja as the PDP candidate in the 2003 elections Adedibu helped to rig, partly by providing the muscle needed to fix the polls. Ladoja confirmed this fact to Human Rights Watch but said that once he was in office, he tried immediately to break free of Adedibu’s influence.166

Ladoja told Human Rights Watch that he fell out with Adedibu shortly after coming into office in 2003 because he refused to allow Adedibu access to the treasury—he alleges that Adedibu ordered him to turn over 25 percent of the government’s security vote—or roughly N15 million ($115,000) per month—directly to him.167 Ladoja also refused to allow Adedibu to name the Commissioners who would serve in his cabinet.168

In an interview with Human Rights Watch, Adedibu described Ladoja as an “ingrate.”169 Current Governor Christopher Alao-Akala agreed. “Ladoja should have involved him in forming the government,” he said. “You cannot exclude this man from decision-making.”170 Former state Governor Kolapo Ishola, who met with Human Rights Watch at Adedibu’s home, expressed a similar view: “The problem with Ladoja—he did not consult Baba on appointments, he did not ask whether he had candidates for appointments, for patronage, for contracts. Adedibu did not have a say, he was angry.”171

Violence Engulfs the Legislature

By August 2005 tensions between Ladoja and Adedibu had caused the State House of Assembly to split in two, with a majority of 18 out of 32 members publicly supporting Adedibu in every matter related to his struggle with Governor Ladoja for control of the state government. The legislature largely ceased to function as a single house.172

At the end of 2005 the so-called “G-18” of pro-Adedibu lawmakers set about trying to impeach Governor Ladoja. Their first attempt failed and resulted in an armed melee on the floor of the State legislature. One pro-Adedibu lawmaker stabbed one of his rivals with a knife and several others were also wounded; some lawmakers reportedly drew firearms and fired into the air to ward off attackers from the opposing camp.173 The police made no arrests.

Just over one week later, armed policemen escorted the G-18 lawmakers to the State House of Assembly for a second try at moving the impeachment motion.174 An hours-long gun battle erupted between the police and armed thugs supporting Ladoja who sought to prevent the pro-Adedibu legislators from entering the House. At least one civil servant was wounded in the crossfire and the fighting caused panic to spread throughout Ibadan.175

Eventually the G-18 legislators broke into the locked House of Assembly and voted, on their own, to constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate allegations of misconduct including corruption against Ladoja. Immediately following the vote a large group of anti-Ladoja thugs stormed Government House and ran rampant through the premises, looting and destroying the Governor’s office. Some of this was captured on film by the thugs themselves.176 The police made no arrests in connection with the sponsorship of any of this violence. Three weeks later the G-18 voted unanimously to remove Ladoja from office, replacing him with Deputy Governor and Adedibu loyalist Christopher Alao-Akala.

The attempt to impeach Ladoja ended in failure. In December 2006 Nigeria’s Supreme Court reversed the move as illegal because his removal was not supported by the required two-thirds majority of the legislature. 177

Rival Armies of Political Thugs

After Ladoja resumed office in late 2006, the political struggle between the governor and Adedibu was waged mainly in the streets through regular battles between proxy gangs. Many of those thugs were armed with machetes and locally manufactured small arms that were—according to interviews with government officials, police officers and civil society activists—provided or paid for by their sponsors.178 The depredations of those groups exacted a heavy toll on ordinary civilians who were subjected to violent crimes and looting, while few of the thugs and none of their sponsors were ever held to account.

Both Ladoja and Adedibu turned to Oyo State’s chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) as a primary source of political thugs. NURTW has several thousand members in Oyo alone and is meant to represent the collective bargaining interests of drivers of commercial passenger vehicles. There is considerable evidence that NURTW’s Oyo chapter has long been used as a tool of political violence by Adedibu and others. Some longtime members complain that the union has been largely captured by violent motor park “touts” who loiter about the motor parks harassing drivers and passengers alike.179

Former Oyo State Senator Lekan Balogun told Human Rights Watch that “I would call for the complete proscription of NURTW. They do not have any purpose. They are available for negative activities including thuggery and they [politicians] draw their thugs from there.”180 The senator was beaten and nearly killed by a group of NURTW thugs loyal to Adedibu while attempting to mediate the dispute between Ladoja and Adedibu in January 2007.181 Former Oyo State Governor Victor Olunloyo echoed these sentiments, adding, “It has always been that way, it was like that when I was governor.”182

The Deputy Secretary of one NURTW branch in Ibadan acknowledged his members’ involvement in “politics,” explaining that, “We are supposed to be a separate body but the way they are playing politics in Nigeria, if you want to be anything you cannot rule out the godfather system. You must be somehow political. If one is elected they will want to thank us.183

Adedibu and Ladoja each supported rival factions of NURTW under two different leaders. The pro-Adedibu faction was led by Lateef Akinsola, commonly known as “Tokyo.” In 2003, Ladoja’s Attorney General charged Tokyo with several counts of murder and kept him in detention without bail for more than two and a half years while trying to convict him.184 During Tokyo’s detention Ladoja backed a rival named Wasilu Adegboyega, commonly known as “Tawa,” to usurp Tokyo’s role.

Tokyo was released from prison in February 2006 under Akala’s watch, just weeks after Ladoja’s temporary “impeachment.”185 He immediately moved to reassert his leadership over NURTW in violent fashion. Tokyo’s supporters, along with other thugs loyal to Adedibu, took over the car parks by force after violent clashes with supporters of Tawa’s faction. Several people were injured and at least one killed.186

Human Rights Watch interviewed one man who said he was attacked with machetes at the time of Tokyo’s resurgence because he had led NURTW members in a prayer at the ceremony that had seen Tawa invested as NURTW chairman two years earlier. “I saw four or five people and they just attacked me, all carrying cutlasses,” he said. “They really beat me, all of the women were shouting. There was all blood everywhere and I had to take my car and go to the hospital.”187 He said that two people had died in the fighting at his motor park that day, and that he had not reported the incident to the police lest the pro-Tokyo union leadership bar him from working out of the motor parks altogether.188 The police reportedly did not intervene or hold to account any of those responsible for that violence.189

With Tokyo back in control of NURTW, Tawa and his supporters were exiled from most of the motor parks in Oyo. Some of them, including Tawa, took up residence inside the compound that includes the governor’s lodge for mutual protection. Governor Ladoja acknowledged this in an interview with Human Rights Watch.190

By this point, Ladoja and Adedibu were jockeying for position ahead of the 2007 elections. Ladoja sought to regain the PDP nomination for governor to run for a second term while Adedibu, along with President Obasanjo in Abuja, supported Deputy Governor Christopher Alao-Akala in his bid to obtain the party’s ticket. The result was a series of bloody clashes between supporters of Adedibu and Ladoja. The Tokyo and Tawa factions of NURTW were again at the front lines of these clashes.

Pre-Election Escalation

In the months leading up to the 2007 elections, Ladoja and Adedibu’s factions fought each other regularly. On the weekend of February 4, 2007, the two factions at a PDP rally in neighboring Osun state when the party hierarchy formally awarded the ticket to Akala. At least four people were killed. 191 Adedibu and Ladoja both blamed one another for instigating the clash.

Human Rights Watch interviewed four NURTW members who had been shot and wounded by members of the pro-Ladoja wing of NURTW in February 2007. The victims each said that their rivals had descended on their vehicles not far from the motor park they worked out of, smashed the windows of their vehicles and then fired at them as they fled. All of the victims bore fresh gunshot wounds days after the incident and said that the police did not make any arrests in connection with the incident.192

Violence and insecurity became the norm in Ibadan and other parts of Oyo in the run-up to the April polls. On several occasions thugs loyal to Adedibu rampaged through the streets of Ibadan, attacking motorists and looting shops along the road.193 According to media and other sources, clashes between the two factions in the run-up to the elections claimed more than a dozen lives, with many more wounded.194

On April 11, a few days before the gubernatorial poll, Akala’s campaign convoy passed by the campaign office of ANPP gubernatorial candidate Abiola Ajimobi on its way to a rally. Eyewitnesses described several cars pulling to a halt and PDP thugs descending and shooting at the ANPP office. They also destroyed two cars in the compound and a stall selling food outside the gate of the office.195 An elderly woman selling food outside the gates told Human Rights Watch: “There were many people, so many buses, so many cars. They came with cutlasses, guns. They shout ‘We are the governor! We are Akala!’ Everybody ran immediately because of the guns.”196

Oyo’s 2007 Elections: A Victory for Corruption and Impunity

Oyo’s 2007 elections saw the same open vote rigging and intimidation of voters that derailed the exercise across most of Nigeria. Observers and journalists reported attacks by thugs on polling stations who stole ballot boxes and several voters were reportedly shot or stabbed while trying to cast their ballots in Ogbomosho and Ibadan.197 Especially in Ibadan, Adedibu’s proxy thugs from NURTW and elsewhere were implicated in much of this violence.

Human Rights Watch interviewed Labour Party, AC and ANPP activists in Iseyin who were beaten, robbed, or had their houses looted allegedly by PDP thugs on the two days of voting.198 Human Rights Watch interviewed one opposition party agent in Iseyin who was beaten and stripped half-naked in the street by supporters of Akala when he tried to investigate reports of ballot box stuffing at a polling unit near his home.199

One foreign election observer summarized her impressions of the polls in Oyo succinctly to Human Rights Watch: “The elections were stolen.”200 The end result was a comfortable victory for PDP candidate and Adedibu protégé Christopher Alao-Akala.201

Akala came into office already facing allegations of corruption. Ladoja alleged that during Akala’s brief tenure as governor during the 2006 impeachment saga, he had indulged in corruption on a massive scale, funneling money into the hands of Adedibu, himself, and his supporters and derailing existing government programs.202

Adeolu Adeleke, Speaker of the State House of Assembly under Ladoja, told Human Rights Watch that during Akala’s previous 11-month tenure his supporters in the legislature siphoned off more than N45 million ($346,000) each month for their own personal use.203 Governor Ladoja described one scheme whereby Akala allegedly ordered each local government chairman to purchase an ambulance at a cost of N14 million ($107,000), even though the true cost of each ambulance was only N5 million. He suggested that “the attraction of the ambulances was simply the surplus N9 million,” which he alleged went into the pockets of Adedibu, Akala and the participating local government chairmen.204

In an interview with Human Rights Watch, Akala strenuously denied that any acts of corruption took place under his watch as governor.205

Prior to the elections a spokesman for Governor Ladoja claimed that corruption and mismanagement under Akala’s previous tenure had a disastrous effect on government programs meant to provide for education, potable water, and health care services. “We had made a budget of N50 billion,” he said. “Within one month [of coming to power] they increased it, and then they increased it [again] to N60 billion, with nothing to show for it. Water stopped flowing, projects were abandoned.”206

Akala’s New Administration

All signs indicate that Akala’s administration is likely to further entrench the culture of impunity that allowed him to come into office. One of Akala’s earliest acts as governor was to replace the state’s acting Chief Judge, who was investigating an array of corruption allegations that had been brought against Akala before the 2007 election. The judge’s replacement immediately halted the investigation.207

By the time Akala was sworn in as Governor, he and Adedibu had already left a trail of violence, fraud and corruption in their wake, and neither they nor anyone else has been held to account for any of it. Adedibu’s position appears to be secure as well. In an interview with Human Rights Watch, Akala described his relationship with his “godfather” (see box 4 below).

Box 4: A Future Governor Discusses his Political Godfather

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Christopher Alao Akala at his campaign office in Ibadan two months prior to his election as Governor of Oyo State. Human Rights Watch asked Alao-Akala to explain his relationship with Chief Adedibu as well as Adedibu’s role in the politics of Oyo State:

For God’s sake, this man is an old man, you cannot reform him, you can only manage him. This man has been in politics since politics began in Nigeria. Can you just wish him away like that? If you go to his house you will see pictures of all the past leaders he has worked with…Chief Adedibu has sponsored everybody—everybody who is who and who in Oyo state politics has passed through that place.

This man belongs to an old school of thought. If, for example, he asked me, Mr. Governor, I want you to kill this one tomorrow I would say, “Yes, sir.” Then I would go back the following day and say, “Why do you want us to kill that man?” Then I will provide another solution— we will not kill him, let us bring him to order. If he asked me for N100, I will say, “Yes, sir.” But then the next day, I will say, “Baba, I am sorry, I don’t have the N100, here is N20 for you to manage.” That is only an example.

I will recommend Baba [Adedibu] as a lecturer at the University [of Ibadan] to teach, to lecture students about practical politics.208

Federal Government Complicity

Police Failures and Partisanship

The Nigerian police have made no effort to investigate Adedibu’s involvement in orchestrating political violence, corruption or electoral fraud despite evidence implicating him in all three. Former Senator Lekan Balogun, who was attacked along with his security detail by Adedibu’s thugs at the State House of Assembly in January 2007, said of his attackers:

I knew them very well—I even gave them money sometimes [at Adedibu’s home], they are NURTW boys, Adedibu’s agents. I gave 11 or 12 names to the police and…not a single arrest has been made…The commissioner said he has been unable to locate them. I said I could tell him where one or two of them were found. How can you say we have laws in this country?209

Governor Ladoja, along with several journalists and civil society activists, alleged to Human Rights Watch that then-State Commissioner of Police Jonathan Johnson was “compromised” and an active supporter of Adedibu.210 Ladoja also argued that Johnson’s partiality justified his own reliance on NURTW thugs led by Tawa to augment his security, as he doubted the police would intervene effectively to protect him from Adedibu’s own thugs.211

Human Rights Watch interviewed two policemen in Ibadan who complained that they were restrained by the police leadership from doing their job correctly. One of them stated that, “We have been put in a position to protect life and property. It’s not that we don’t know what to do, but if you try to do your job, you are playing with your life. When PDP people are arrested [during the election campaigns] we are told to let them go.”212 He also claimed that he had been ordered by his direct superiors not to intervene to stop violence on Election Day. Another police source confirmed the same. 213

During Nigeria’s chaotic voter registration period, Adedibu was discovered to have induced INEC staff to divert six voter registration machines to his home for the apparent purpose of creating lists of nonexistent voters.214 Nigeria’s electoral law provides for a sentence of up to one year of imprisonment for such malfeasance, but Adedibu was not held to account in any way.215 INEC officials publicly confirmed the incident and blamed the police for failing to investigate the crime.216 Jonathan Johnson, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo state at the time, responded to those complaints by asking rhetorically, “If you hear a rumor and then you call the man and he says he doesn’t know anything about it, what more can you do about it?”217

A Lack of Political Will

Echoing the complaints of many other activists and citizens of Oyo State, one dissident politician told Human Rights Watch that, “Adedibu is there not because the PDP does not know that he is a criminal but because they need him to win elections.”218 President Obasanjo himself dismissed the idea that Adedibu should be held to account or even made to change his behavior. “Baba has become a dried fish, he cannot be bent anymore,” Obasanjo said on one occasion. “So let us continue to manage him.”219 Then-PDP chairman Ahmadu Ali went further, calling Adedibu the “commander” of the PDP’s “garrison” in Oyo state in early 2006 and suggesting that Ladoja should not have accepted the job of Governor if he was not willing to take orders from Adedibu.220

The result of this complacent attitude on the part of the federal government is that Adedibu has enjoyed more than just impunity; the Obasanjo government treated him as though his capacity to mobilize violence and corruption made him a legitimate part of the political process in Oyo. Not only has he not been investigated by the police, but he is assigned a permanent security detail of Mobile Police (MOPOL) officers who are stationed at his home and accompany him wherever he goes. It remains to be seen whether any of this will change under the Yar’Adua government.


Some residents of Oyo State expressed the hope that once the political battles surrounding the election were over, they could at least hope for peace to take root in Oyo. As one activist put it before the elections, “The whole problem is that he [Adedibu] is the godfather and his authority was toppled and he will not stand for it. Once he has won it will become quiet.”221

Unfortunately this has not come to pass and violence has continued since the elections came to a close. Much of that violence has seen Ladoja’s former supporters harassed and attacked. Tawa, leader of the pro-Ladoja faction of NURTW, was reportedly abducted, attacked with machetes and badly wounded by Tokyo’s supporters just days before Ladoja handed over to Akala as governor.222 A pro-Tawa NURTW leader in Ogbomoso was murdered on June 22.223 And in early July 2007 Ladoja’s own house was attacked by armed thugs alleged in the employ of Adedibu and Governor Akala.224 The police made no arrests.

There are also signs that Oyo’s culture of political violence has become so entrenched that it is continuing to worsen in relation to issues not connected with the election at all. On June 27, 2007, a group of NURTW thugs armed with clubs and machetes allegedly attacked a group of state government employees who were staging a peaceful protest against the Akala administration’s recent decision to reduce their salaries. Twenty protesters suffered machete and club wounds in the attack and at least three of them were hospitalized. The workers accused the state government of masterminding the attack and demanded an investigation. Commissioner of Police Jonathan Johnson responded by publicly accusing the civil servants of attacking the NURTW men.225 As of the time of writing no one has been held to account for the attack.

157 Human Rights Watch interview, Ibadan, February 9, 2007.

158 Ebenezer Obadare, “Lamidi Adedibu ou l’État Entre Contraction et Sous-Traitance,” Politique Africaine, No. 106 (June 2007), pp. 115-116. Chief Awolowo was Nigeria’s most prominent Yoruba politician at independence and one of three men commonly thought of as Nigeria’s triumvirate of political “founding fathers” along with Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikwe.

159 Ibid, pp. 116-117.

160 While Adedibu’s statewide political influence is immense, many analysts argue that he is a truly dominant force only in Oyo’s capital of Ibadan. Human Rights Watch interviews, Ibadan and Lagos, February and April 2007.

161 Human Rights Watch interview with Chief Adedibu, Ibadan, February 7, 2007.

162 Human Rights Watch interview with Christopher Alao-Akala, Ibadan, February 10, 2007.

163 Human Rights Watch interview with Adeolu Adeleke, Ibadan, February 9, 2007.

164 See Estelle Shirbon, “Democracy in Nigeria: Godfathers, Guns and Graft,” Reuters, April 2, 2007, (accessed July 12, 2007).

165 Human Rights Watch interview with Lekan Balogun, Ibadan, February 9, 2007. See also Akeeb Alarape, “SSS Threatens  to Arrest Adedibu,” Daily Sun, January 22, 2007, quoting Senator Balogun as stating that, “I am demanding that Adedibu be arrested and Prosecuted. Ditto Tokyo. The two were the arrowhead of the attack against me.”

166 Human Rights Watch interview with Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Ibadan, February 8, 2007.

167 Human Rights Watch interview with Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Ibadan, February 8, 2007.

168 Ibid.

169 Human Rights Watch interview with Chief Lamidi Adedibu, Ibadan, February 7, 2007.

170 Human Rights Watch interview with Christopher Alao-Akala, Ibadan, February 10, 2007.

171 Human Rights Watch interview with Kolapo Ishola, Ibadan, February 7, 2007. Ishola served as Governor of Oyo State during the brief civilian interregnum between the 1992 elections that were annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha’s assumption of the Presidency.

172 Human Rights Watch interviews with legislators, journalists, and civil society activists, Ibadan, February 2007.

173 Human Rights Watch interview with Oyo State legislators, Ibadan, February 2007.  See also “Nigerian state lawmaker knifed as rivalry heats up,” Reuters, December 14, 2005.

174 Human Rights Watch interviews with Victor Olunloyo, Governor Ladoja, Deputy Governor Alao-Akala, Akin Oyedele, Punch Correspondent, Ibadan, February 2007.

175 See Obafemi Afolabi, “Nigerian Governor Impeached After Bloody Feud,” Reuters News, January 12, 2006.

176 Private DVD, on file with Human Rights Watch.

177 Section 188 of the Nigerian Constitution states that any impeachment motion against a sitting state governor must be supporter by a two-thirds majority of the entire legislature, including the vote to constitute a panel of inquiry into allegations of misconduct that could warrant impeachment. The anti-Ladoja lawmakers simply disregarded this provision, making the untenable argument that they needed only a two-thirds majority of whoever happened to be present when the vote was held. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 188.

178 Human Rights Watch interviews, Oyo State, February and April 2007.

179 Human Rights Watch interview with driver and member of NURTW, Ibadan, February 10, 2007.

180 Human Rights Watch interview with Lekan Balogun, Ibadan, February 9, 2007.

181 Ibid and see below: Federal Government Complicity.

182 Human Rights Watch interview with Victor Olunloyo, Ibadan, February 8, 2007.

183 Human Rights Watch interview with Alhaji Azan, Deputy Secretary of Egbeda Branch, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Ibadan, February 7, 2007.

184 Human Rights Watch interview with Adeniyi Akintola, SAN, Ibadan, February 9, 2007.

185 Ademola Adeyemo, “Tokyo, Adedibu’s Henchman, Regains Freedom,” This Day, February 3 2006.

186 Ademola Adeyemo, “One Killed as Rival Unions Clash in Oyo,” This Day, February 14, 2007.

187 Human Rights Watch interview, Ibadan, February 10, 2007.

188 Ibid.

189 Ibid.

190 Human Rights Watch interview with Rashidi Ladoja, Ibadan, February 8, 2007.

191 Human Rights Watch interviews with NURTW officials, Deputy Governor Christopher Alao-Akala and Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, Ibadan, February 2007. See also Akin Oyedele, “Akure Rally Stampede: Ladoja Sues for Calm,” The Punch, February 5, 2007.

192 Human Rights Watch interviews, Ibadan, Feburary 9, 2007.

193 Human Rights Watch interviews with journalists and civil society activists, Ibadan, February 2007.

194 Press archives on file with Human Rights Watch.

195 Human Rights Watch interviews, Ibadan, April 26, 2007.

196 Human Rights Watch interview, Ibadan, April 26, 2007.

197 Human Rights Watch interviews, Ibadan, April 2007. See also George Okoh, “9 Policemen killed in Nassarawa; 2 People in Ibadan,” This Day, April 22, 2007.

198 Human Rights Watch interviews, Iseyin, April 27, 2007.

199 Human Rights Watch interview, Iseyin, April 27, 2007.

200 Human Rights Watch email correspondence with international election observer, June 29, 2007.

201 According to INEC, Akala won 357,972 votes as against 239,189 for his closest opponent, Senator Abiola Abimoji of the ANPP. (accessed July 12, 2007).

202 Human Rights Watch interview with Rashidi Ladoja, Ibadan, February 8, 2007.  See also Tunde Sanni, “Panel Indicts Akala, AC Guber Candidate,” This Day, March 27, 2007; Ola Ajayi, “Akala Disrupted my Development Plans, Says Ladoja,” Vanguard, December 21, 2006.

203 Human Rights Watch interview with Adeolu Adeleke, Ibadan, February 8, 2007. The speaker alleged that this money include N20 million stolen from the monthly allocation towards the functioning of the legislature and the allowances of their opponents in the legislature; N16 million in funds meant for the state’s local governments; and N9 million in other funds. Ibid. 

204 Human Rights Watch interview with Rashidi Ladoja, Ibadan, February 8, 2007; Human Rights Watch interview with Prince Ade Adekanmbi, Special Advisor on Media and Strategy, Ibadan, February 7, 2007.

205 Human Rights Watch interview with Christopher Alao-Akala, Ibadan, February 10, 2007.

206 Human Rights Watch interview with Prince Ade Adekanmbi, Special Advisor on Media and Strategy, Ibadan, February 7, 2007.

207 Tunde Sanni, “New Acting Chief Justice Quashes Akala’s Indictment” Guardian, June 9, 2007. The move sparked protest among Oyo’s legal community, which staged a boycott of all proceedings held in the new Chief Justice’s courtroom. Tunde Sani, “Lawyers Boycott Oyo CJ’s court,” This Day, June 10, 2007.

208 Human Rights Watch interview with Christopher Alao-Akala, February 10, 2007.

209 Human Rights Watch interview with Lekan Balogun, Ibadan, February 9, 2007.

210 Human Rights Watch interview with Rashidi Ladoja, Ibadan, February 8, 2007; Human Rights Watch interviews with civil society activists, opposition politicians and journalists, Ibadan, February and April 2007. See also Ola Ajayi, “Security—Pro-Ladoja Speaker Accuses Police of Partiality,” The Vanguard, December 21, 2006.

211 Ibid.

212 Human Rights Watch interview with police officer, Ibadan, April 8, 2007.

213 Human Rights Watch interview with police sergeant, Ibadan, April 6, 2007.

214 Human Rights Watch interview with Alh. I.K. Maigoro, Oyo State INEC office, Ibadan, February 8, 2007. This incident was widely reported in the Nigerian press.

215 Electoral Act, no. 2 of 2006, sec. 124 (h) and (i).

216 Human Rights Watch interview with Alh. I.K. Maigoro, Oyo State INEC office, Ibadan, February  8, 2007.

217 Human Rights Watch interview with Johnson Johnson, Ibadan, April 26, 2007. Johnson was redeployed away from Oyo State in July 2007.

218 Human Rights Watch interview, Awka, February 12, 2007.

219 Sola Adeyemo, "Ibadan: Rescue mission for battered city," The Nation, April 9, 2007.

220 See, e.g., “Ali’s New Democracy,” The Vanguard, January 5, 2006.

221 Human Rights Watch interview, Ibadan, February 8, 2007.

222 Human Rights Watch email correspondence with Ibadan-based activist, June 2007.

223 Tunde Sanni, “Police Arrest 11 over Murder of NURTW chief,” This Day, June 25, 2007.

224 See Akeeb Alarape, “Adedibu, Akala Behind Attack on my House—Ladoja,” Daily Sun, July 6, 2007.

225 See, e.g., Iyabo Lawal, “Thugs attack protesting workers in Oyo,” The Guardian, June 27, 2007.