•Accuses FG of trying to kill him; Igboho should surrender —Olowu Kuta
•Yoruba won’t be intimidated, says Kiriji group
•49 arrested at Yoruba Nation rally; weapons, charms, othes recovered; Protesters were not armed, Ilana Oodua insists
•Police action unacceptable —IMG; as mother of lady killed cries for justice
By Dapo Akinrefon, Evelyn Usman, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Bose Adelaja, Deola Badru & Shina Abubakar
LEGAL counsel to Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, Chief Yomi Alliyu SAN, Sunday, sued the Department of State Service, DSS, for attacking and damaging his house, alleging that the DSS operatives went with the intent not to arrest but kill him.
This came on a day Lagos Police Command said 49 persons, including suspected leader of Ogboni confraternity and a female Osun worshipper, simply identified as Yeye, were arrested during the botched Oodua Republic Mega rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos.
The Police said dangerous weapons such as arms, ammunition, axes, cutlasses and charms were recovered from the suspects.
But organizers of the rally, Ilana Omo Oodua, IOO, called for the unconditional release of the arrested protesters, insisting that none of the protesters was armed.
FG trying to kill me —Igboho
Sunday Igboho’s counsel, Chief Alliyu, in a statement, described the invasion as illegal and unconstitutional, adding that the accusations leveled against his client were false.
He also urged the Federal Government to probe the invasion, to sanction the DSS operatives, free all the people arrested and also demanded the payment of N500 million to Igboho as compensation for the damage to his exotic cars, including a Mercedes Benz G-Class and 2019 Lexus car, among others.
The statement read: “We are counsel to Chief Sunday Adeyemo (otherwise known as Sunday Igboho Oosa) and we have his standing instructions to defend and act as his counsel in all situations we deem appropriate, especially where his fundamental rights as a citizen of Nigeria is violated or threatened, as done on Thursday, 1 July 2021.
“Every Nigerian, albeit the whole world, is aware that in his open crusade for the establishment of Oodua Republic, our client has always preached peace and warned his followers never to have recourse to violence, saying that ‘it is God and alale’ that will fight for the Yoruba Nation.
“We can boldly say that, as people who followed his campaign, but not necessarily supporting dismemberment of Nigeria, no casualty has ever occurred wherever such rallies were carried out. This must have been done in more than 20 Yoruba towns and cities, as of date.
“It must be reiterated, and with emphasis that it is the right of a group of homogeneous and/or indigenous people in a federation to ask for self-determination, following the rules of international law and UNO Charter.
“We were reliably informed that the DSS and other security forces invaded the residence of our client in wee hours of the day (between 1.00hr and 4.30hrs).
“There is nowhere in civilised world that a citizen, who had no prior invitation by security agent or resisting arrest, will be so invaded with his rights to dignity of human persons, ownership of property and sanctity of life trampled upon during the invasion.
“No demand to enter was made but rather, they shot their way into the house, allegedly killing seven people, though DSS spokesman admitted killing two people which involved an old imam that used to lead Muslim occupants in prayers and observing TAHJUD at the time of the barbaric raid.
“A lady among the invaders was allegedly shouting, ‘if you get him, gun him down.’ There and then our client knew that the mission was to get rid of him and not to arrest him.
“This belief becomes more realistic because the CCTV recorder was off and taken away so that the carnage will not be shown to members of the public. Our client then knew that he was to be taking dead or alive as allegedly stated by the lady among the raiders.
“It should be stated that without any resistance or shooting at the security operatives, they started shooting from the gate, ensuring that the building was made uninhabitable. Also, all the expensive vehicles in our client’ house were shot at and destroyed.
“The rampaging operatives were disappointed that they could allegedly not find a single gun or ammunition in our client’s house, hence they arrested two police escorts of Mr. Igboho’s guests.
“(They) added their (the two police escorts) guns to those harvested from their armoury to make members of the public believe that our client keeps militia, or as stated by them, he is about waging war on Nigeria.
“Will this be with his mere amulets? People who know our client for over 20 years will testify that Igboho Oosa does not carry a gun on his person
“It is elementary law that whenever a search warrant is executed on a house the house owner must first search the persons sent to execute same and also sign the inventory of what was recovered in executing the warrant.
“This explains why the DSS invaded the house in the night, shooting everything at sight, killing and maiming the occupants to plant their illegal guns on our client.
“We have also been reliably informed that those arrested were being tortured to incriminate our client that guns and ammunition were recovered from his house.
“Sunday Igboho knew that he would be arrested one day hence retaining our services. He could not be that daft to keep incriminating articles in his house.
“Our client’s house is a five-bedroom duplex with five chalets of two and three bedrooms. These were damaged with operatives allegedly arguing on whether to burn down the edifice as done to his former palatial house. The lady officer allegedly put her foot down against arson.
“€1000, N2 million, expensive jewellery worth millions, travel documents, amulets, iPhone 12 belonging to him, phones of about 15 others living in the house, including those killed by the raiders and other belongings yet to be identified belonging to his wives were carted away. The only guns were those of the police escorts of his guests.
“More importantly, the DSS and other operatives that raided the house said they came to arrest Sunday Igboho but ended up arresting innocent people instead of him.
“Apart from being a serious violation of these peoples’ constitutional rights, it is an assault on Section 7 of ACJA and decisions of our courts in that regard.
FG must probe DSS operatives involved in attack
“We, hereby, demand that the Federal Government orders an investigation into the actions of the various security operatives, led by DSS, that raided Chief Adeyemo’s house to sanction them and release all the innocent people arrested and compensate the families of those murdered.
“Our client should also be paid N500million as reparation for damage to his exotic cars that include Mercedes Benz G-Class and 2019 Lexus Car. We also demand a public apology.
“Most importantly, trampling of our client’s fundamental rights, including tagging him as criminal by exhibiting DSS guns as his should stop forthwith.”
Yoruba won’t be intimidated, says Kiriji Heritage Defenders
Reacting to the invasion of Sunday Adeyemo’s house, the Kiriji Heritage Defenders, insisted that Yoruba people will not be intimidated from seeking freedom for the Yoruba nation.
The group during the investiture ceremony of Alebiosu Kalaowo as the generalissimo of its security arm at the Kiriji war forest, Imesi-Ile, Osun State, at the weekend, disclosed that it remained committed to realising an independent Yoruba nation.
Speaking after his investiture, Kalaowo, said: “I am using this medium to tell the world that despite the attack on Sunday Igboho, we will not rest on our oars to ensure that the Yoruba nation is free from slavery from whomever and in whatever form.
“We are, hereby, giving anyone, whether Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba and other ethnic groups one month to comply with the ban on open grazing law in the region after which it will become illegal to feed animals on farms.
”We will no longer condone the raping of women and killings of farmers by violent herdsmen, making it impossible for farmers’ activities to thrive.
“We are not working in isolation, but collaborating with other Yoruba groups to ensure that the Yoruba nation is liberated from the menace of violent herdsmen and banish those lurking around our borders with evil intent.”
Igboho should surrender himself —Olowu-Kuta
But on his part, the Olowu of Owu-Kuta in Osun State, Oba Adekunle Makama, urged the Yoruba activist to surrender himself to the Federal Government rather than be hunted like his IPOB counterpart, Nnamdi Kanu.
Oba Makama, who addressed newsmen at his palace in Kuta, said: “Well, government all over the world treats separatists as enemies of the state and as a believer in the corporate existence of the Nigerian state; I do not expect anything less.
”I would rather advise Igboho to surrender himself to the government which will even earn him sympathy than to sit until he is hunted.”
Yoruba Nation rally: Police arrest 49 suspects
Meanwhile, while parading the suspects arrested during the Lagos rally organised by Yoruba Nation agitators at the command headquarters, yesterday, the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, said the suspects posed a threat to the security of the state
Odumosu said: “On Saturday, July 3, 2021, despite warnings and security explanations given to organizers of the rally to forestall breakdown of law and orders in Lagos State, certain individuals came into the state to foment troubles under the guise of the said mega rally
” In curtailing their activities that portend threat to the security of the state, the command arrested 49 suspects.
“They include Bamidele Akomolafe, 52; Dauda Abubakare, 25; Adebanjo Adedajo, 42; Lawal Akeem, 21; Abdulsemiu Akanbi, 43; Emmanuel Chidiemere, 27; Taofeek Abdulsalami, 25; Adesina Ibrahim, 33 and Adeyemi Segun, 22 and 39 others.
“Items recovered from them include one pump action rifle, two locally made pistols, four live cartridges, one expended cartridge and stickers with the inscription ‘Oodua Armed Forces.
“Also recovered were one Opel car with registration number FFF 921, one unregistered Toyota 4 Runner SUV, one Honda car with registration number SMK 248 FC, one Nissan pathfinder SUV with registration number ABJ 348 DB, One Suzuki minibus with plate number LSR980 YC, one beaded crown, one beaded walking stick, a white box containing assorted charms, some Oodua flags and banners, clothes and caps with Oodua Nation inscriptions, some voodoo charm jackets, one traditional calabash containing weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, some mobile phones, clothes, two axes.
“In summary, a total of six arms, 18 7.62mm ammunition, 19 live cartridges and one expended cartridge were recovered.”
The Police boss, however, insisted that information at the command’s disposal was that the protesters were out to cause unrest in several parts of the state.
Odumosu said: “Coupled with the conduct of the so-called agitators and others that despite repeated warnings from the command and the Lagos State government, trooped out for the planned rally, one could easily infer that they were not in Lagos state for a rally but another mission geared towards destabilizing the state.”
The suspects, according to him, will be handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Yaba, for discreet investigation and possible prosecution.
Protesters weren’t armed, Ilana Omo Oodua insists
But in its reaction, organizers of the Yoruba Nation rally, Ilana Omo Oodua, disagreed, insisting that no participant at the rally was armed.
It also called for the unconditional release of those arrested during the rally.
IOO’s Media Communications Secretary, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, said: “We approached the Police that they should come and protect us so that the rally will not be hijacked. We went to the rally ground peacefully and law-abiding. We were not unruly.
“We met the Police at the rally ground and told them that we were for peace but they started raining bullets at us. Whatever the Police said is a lie.
“The Police did not say those arrested committed any crime but that they violated an order that nobody should any rally in Lagos.
“We have a track record of peaceful assembly. The Police have paraded them that they are criminals. If they want to take them to the court, fine; but we wish to engage them in the court. We are calling for the unconditional release of these protesters.”
Police action unacceptable—Ijaw leader
Also, the Coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, Comrade Joseph Evah, berated the Police for tear-gassing those who participated in the Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos, saying such action was unacceptable.
Reacting to the action, Evah said the action of the Police should be condemned.
The Ijaw leader said: “We, the Ijaw Monitoring Group, condemn the action of the Police who tear-gassed peaceful protesters in Lagos.
”Peaceful protest is recognised under the 1999 Constitution and United Nations charter. The action of the Police was unruly, they are meant to protect innocent citizens and not attack them, they also injured elderly people who participated in the protest.
”The police need to apologise for their unruly behaviour because if this is allowed, no one will be allowed to organise any peaceful protest.
”What the Police did in Lagos is unacceptable and we are condemning it. We also want the whole world to know what happened because those who participated in the rally were peaceful.
”It should be known that it was the police that caused the confusion that led to the injuries recorded in the Lagos rally. If we don’t condemn this, nobody will be allowed to assemble in Nigeria. This is against international law.”
Mother of lady killed by stray bullet cries for justice
Meanwhile, Mrs. Ifeoluwa Adeeko, the mother of the lady purportedly killed by a Police stray bullet during Saturday’s Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos, has insisted that it was stray bullet by the police that killed her daughter and cried for justice to be done in the case.
The victim, simply identified as Jumoke Muriana, was allegedly killed by a stray bullet when policemen fired gunshots to disperse the crowd that gathered for the rally. But the police denied any involvement in Jumoke’s death.
The mother wept uncontrollably at the sight of the lifeless body of her daughter.
Amid tears, Mrs. Adeeko said her daughter was 25 years, contrary to earlier reported 14 years in the media.
She said: “I want justice in this case; my daughter was killed by a stray bullet. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should come to my rescue and ensure justice for the killing of my daughter by the police.”
However, it was gathered that human rights lawyers and activists have begun process to take the police up on the murder
Sanwo-Olu orders probe of lady allegedly killed by stray bullet
Also, Governor Sanwo-Olu has ordered immediate thorough investigation into the death of a lady allegedly killed by a stray bullet during Saturday’s rally.
In a statement by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, stated that a Coroner’s Inquest has immediately been requested in line with section 14 and 15 of the Coroners’ Systems Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015, to determine the cause and circumstances of death.
The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the death of a 14-year-old girl in Ojota during the Oodua Republic Mega Rally on Saturday, 3rd of July, 2021.
“We commiserate with the family of the deceased. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered a thorough investigation of the death.
“As a government, the security and wellbeing of citizens are of utmost importance to us. The State assures the public that everything will be done to ensure that the cause of death is known. The findings of this investigation will be made public in due course and appropriate sanctions meted out to anyone found culpable.”