•Says, I’m a businessman, not a terrorist
•Malami chasing shadows—Ilana Omo Odua
•FG amusing itself with illogical reasoning —Afenifere
By Dayo Johnson, Dapo Akinrefon, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Rotimi Ojomoyela, Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Jane Onozure, Shola Abubakar, James Ogunnaike, Deola Badru & Sola lshola
Yoruba nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a Igboho Oosa yesterday dared the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami to mention the name of the federal lawmaker that he alleged was his major financier.
Igboho said he was a businessman and not a terrorist as alleged by the Chief Law Officer.
Igboho, who is being detained in the Republic of Benin after he was arrested on his way to Germany was responding to Malami’s statement yesterday that a federal lawmaker in the National Assembly has been identified as a major financier of Igboho’s alleged terrorist acts and that the Yoruba nation activist was operating 43 bank accounts.
The Attorney-General who made the disclosure while briefing newsmen, however declined to reveal the identity of the said lawmaker saying the information would be made public at the appropriate time.
Igboho operates 43 bank accounts, gets funding from federal lawmaker —FG
According to him, an investigation that was carried out by a 24-member Ad-hoc Committee which was constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, equally linked Igboho to 43 bank accounts in nine financial institutions in the country.
He said a report that was submitted to the Federal Government by the Committee which has members drawn from the Federal Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Federal Ministry of Information (MoI), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Services (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), revealed that Igboho is a Director and signatory to a company, Adesun International Concept Limited, which was registered on April 23, 2010.
The AGF, who also disclosed that he was the head of the investigative Committee, named two other persons, Oladele Oyetunji and Aderopo Adeyemo as Igboho’s co-Directors of the company.
He said: “The major financier of the fugitive and separatist was found to be a federal lawmaker in the National Assembly.
“A total sum of one hundred and twenty-seven million, one hundred and forty-five thousand Naira only (127, 145, 000. 00) was received by Igboho from his financiers between 22nd October, 2013 and 28th September, 2020 through Adesun International Concept Ltd accounts.
“A total sum of two hundred and seventy-three million, one hundred and ninety- eight thousand, two hundred Naira only (N273,198,200.00) transaction outflows was recorded from Sunday Igboho’s account between 15th March, 2013 and 11 the March, 2021.
“Investigation reveals that Adesun International Concept Ltd (belonging to Igboho) transferred the sum of twelve million seven hundred and fifty thousand naira (N12, 750,000) to Abbal Bako & Sons.
“It might be recalled that Abbal Bako & Sons and its promoter Abdullahi Umar Usman are suspects in the on-going Joint Terrorist Financing Investigation. Abdullahi Umar Usman is by way of financial transaction connected to Surajo Abubakar Muhammad (who was sentenced to life imprisonment in UAE on charges of financing terrorism [Boko Haram].
“This report shows the nexus between separatists’ agitation, terrorism financing and disruptions of peace in the country.
“The report found connections of financial transaction between Adesun International Concept Ltd (belonging to Igboho) and some construction companies and businesses among others.
“Having received the reports, the Federal Government remains resolute in its determination to have a peaceful Nigeria.
“The Federal Government will do the needful, within the context of the legal provisions, in ensuring that the matter is given the deserved attention and those found guilty will be made to face the wrath of the law”, Malami added.
Reacting on behalf of Igboho yesterday, his counsel, Chief Yomi Aliu, SAN, in a statement challenged Malami to mention the lawmaker who sent money to Igboho for terrorist act.
The statement reads “Our attention has been drawn to a text press conference by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, wherein he fruitlessly tried to paint our client and those patronising his car trade as terrorists and/or financiers of terrorists.
“I have gone through the text. Sunday was alleged to have transferred the sum of N12.7m to Abbal Bako & Sons owned by Abdullahi Umar. Transferring money to bureau de change to buy dollars is what is done by every businessman of our client’s calibre.
“Thank God that his passports and various bills of ladings were carted away by DSS during the ungodly invasion of 1st July, 2021.
“Thus, so far there is no evidence of receipt of money from Abbal Bako & Sons or Abdullahi Umar going by the text conference. What the AGF stated are mere conjectures, not hard fact.
“Our client according to him paid Umar and not vice versa thus belying what the AGF earlier said that Chief Sunday Adeyemo is being financed by people.
“The picture the learned AGF wanted to paint is that our Client is being financed by Abdullah Umar allegedly involved in terrorists financing. Who is now financing who?
“Again, Chief Adeyemo is a car dealer trading in the name of Adesun International Concept Ltd. Does it mean that anybody buying car from him or selling car to him is a terrorist?
“Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Igboho Oosa was not into Oodua Nation until last year. So finding over N273m turnover between October 2013 and September 2020 shows that he was not a poor man. His house invaded by DSS on 1st July 2020 is worth over N2billion!
“I challenge the AGF to mention the lawmaker that sent money to Chief Sunday Adeyemo for terrorist act whether he would not be damnified in exemplary damages for defamation.
“Up till date our client has not been prosecuted or found liable for any criminal act or terrorism.
“There is also a valid and subsisting court judgement that agitation for self determination is not an act of terrorism but fundamental human right of any citizen. Suspicion no matter how great cannot grant conviction.
“Chief Sunday Adeyemo is not a terrorist but a campaigner for self- determination”.
Nigerian govt chasing shadows —Ilana Omo Oodua
In its reaction, the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), described the allegation of terrorism slammed against Igboho, as an inconsistent expression, coined to tarnish a noble and constitutional struggle of the Yoruba people.
The Group, led by a renowned Historian, Professor Banji Akintoye, argued that the statement linking Ighoho with an indicted Sponsor of Terrorism is empty, watery, cruel and irresponsible, stating that “the Nigerian Government is just chasing shadows and attempting to bully the struggle for Self-Determination of the Yoruba people out of relevance”.
In a statement yesterday, the Communications Secretary of IOO, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, said there was no where in the report read by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, where Ighoho was found sponsoring terrorism, saying “linking Ighoho to terrorism because he transferred N12.7m to a friend of someone who is an indicted promoter of terrorism is an embarrassment to his (Ighoho) status and brand.
“Our preliminary position is that having been defeated legally and morally, the Government of Nigeria is now chasing shadows, bullying the truth, and making an inconsistent attempt to tarnish a noble struggle of the Yoruba people.
“There was no where in the statement where Ighoho was directly or indirectly linked to Terrorism.
“We only read that Ighoho transferred the sum of twelve million, seven hundred and fifty thousand Naira only to one Abdullahi Usman who is a friend of someone who is now an indicted promoter of terrorism.
“We are surprised how that has now become a crime. Was there any linkage between Ighoho and the original indicted promoter of terrorism? What was the money Ighoho paid into Abdullahi Usman meant for? Is Ighoho now the one funding terrorism in the North?
“Even if there was an association between the real indicted promoter of terrorism and Ighoho which the Malami statement did not say, was it legitimate or was it on terrorism?
“FG also accused an invincible lawmaker of sponsoring Ighoho and the struggle for self-determination in Yoruba Land.
“The transactions between Ighoho and the federal lawmaker was dated back to 2013. That was hilarious and absolutely inconsistent. Was there a struggle for self-determination In 2013?
“For instance, we started the struggle for self-determination in 2019, but the Nigerian Government is labelling the transactions between Ighoho, a political figure and freedom fighter and an unknown political figure dated back to 2013 as funds for promotion of Yoruba Nation struggle for self-determination.
“Igboho is a renowned automobile dealer, so, anyone could buy cars from him. We are, however, glad that the Nigerian Government is now displaying heavy shallowness and emptiness before the world while attempting to bully and tarnish a just and constitutional agenda that has been declared noble and legal by a court of competent jurisdiction which the Government has not appealed against.
“To us in IOO, the accusations against Ighoho are ridiculous, cruel, petty, irresponsible and childish. The Nigerian Government is now frustrated having lost the battle against the agitations for self-determination, both in the courts of law and public opinion, hence, resorted to blackmail and media bully”.
FG amusing itself with illogical reasoning — Afenifere
The Secretary General of Afenifere, Chief Sola Ebiseni said “ The Federal Government with its Attorney General, will not stop amusing themselves with illogical reasoning on the nationality question.
“It is expected, that the AG would be guided by the standard of a reasonable man, which is a central test in legal inquiry, before addressing the public.
“This time around, the team set up by him, at a time he is hell bent on nailing Igboho, has satisfied his emotional expectations, but in a most unreasonable and tenuous manner, by suggesting that Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba nation campaigner, would be on the same sponsorship with Boko Haram.
“Only someone with pathological hatred for Igboho and insult to the Yoruba nation, will find a common bed for Yoruba nation agitation and Boko Haram which is known to act in tandem with the Fulani herdsmen which terrorist acts were responsible for Igboho’s campaigns.
“The Federal Government which, in spite of all reasonable advice, have bluntly refused to declare Boko Haram a terrorist organisation, now links an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram with terrorism only just by so doing Sunday Igboho could be dressed with the robe of terrorism.
“The whole world knows what Igboho stood and still stands for and his peaceful modus operandi, in spite of the unwarranted invasion of his house which was aimed at his life by the Federal Government.
“It is of amusing cruelty that the Federal Government which was unable to defend itself of terrorism against Igboho and for which it was handed N20 billion in aggravated damages, would turn around that Igboho received less than N200m to sponsor terrorism since 2013 when Igboho had never been heard of and when Major General Muhammad Buhari, as former Military Head of State, then was still campaigning for the Sharia as a law of general application in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government may continue to play the ostrich, the whole world knows those who enacted, engineered and continue to promote terrorism in Nigeria.”
The Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide said: “As far as we are concerned there is no justification for what the AGF is saying.
“Igboho has not breached the Nigerian laws. That some people are sponsoring him of course, if he had people that believe in what he was fighting for or sponsoring him that is fine.
“Once we did not sponsor him to cause violence or to breach Nigerian law anybody is free to spend his money the way he likes. If has two million bank accounts,that is not against the Nigerian law.
“There is nothing that forbids anybody from having multiple bank accounts.”
In his own reaction, former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines , Dr Yemi Farounbi said, “I am sure the AGF knows that he cannot be the accuser and the judge.
“There must be an opportunity for the accused to deny, confirm or reject the allegations. So, the proper place to try Igboho is the court, no Nigerian can be tried on the pages of the newspaper.”
Also reacting, former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Akin Osuntokun said “the whole issues raised by the Attorney General, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, do not make any sense.
“But I am not disappointed because I am not expecting anything good from this government.
“It is important to state that one can run as many accounts as possible, but to insinuate that some Muslim northerners are collaborating with Sunday Igboho to actualise Oodua Nation did not appear logical.
He also mentioned that a Federal lawmaker is financing him, that is also ridiculous. One cannot be a judge in his own case.
The investigating team cannot investigate and pass judgement on such issues. If he has enough case against a suspect, they should charge him to court. But the government is not really serious or has another agenda.
Hon Ayo Fadaka, public analysts and former Publicity Secretary of PDP, South West said “ As far as I care, this is rabble rousing, the Federal Government must come bare with its information if it believes it is cogent and water tight.
That Igboho has forty three accounts is a non issue because he remains a private citizen with no obvious link to our commonwealth so to that extent, he is free to run his life and finance as he chooses.
Government must also make public the identity of this mystery federal law maker it claims is financing Sunday Adeyemo, we must know the relationship between both.
It is however essential to ask Malami when the Federal Government is going to equally make public the names of the many sponsors of Boko Haram and the bandits.
Hon Zadok Akintoye, Public analyst said “What exactly is the problem with the Federal Government that it seeks to subtly imply that the ownership of multiple bank accounts is tantamount to committing a crime.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the Federal Government might be complicit in the various acts of violence across the country, when it refuses to name the sponsors of Boko Haram (even after it declared that it knows these individuals) but would rather look for ways of victimizing an innocent citizen whose only “crime” is to demand justice for his people
This blackmail won’t work — CAIDOV
Executive Director, Centre Against Injustice and Domestic violence, Gbenga Soloki, described Malami’s statement as “most unfortunate, reckless and irresponsible. “
Soloki stated: “Accusing anyone of having many bank accounts is nothing but sheer hypocrisy, is there a law that precludes someone from having so many accounts? Which law has been breached?
“Instead of playing to the gallery, the attorney general should. name the alleged lawmaker sponsoring Igboho, get him arrested and prosecuted if there is convincing evidence to the effect.
“The Attorney General should tell the world what has happened to the bureau de change operators accused of funding the activities of Boko haram, it’s not about playing to the gallery, but acting towards resolving the crises of insurgency, banditry and call for secession..
“Nigerians are losing confidence in this government by sheer inconsistency and policy somersault.
“Let him tell the whole world who the sponsors of Igboho are and not the number of accounts being held.”
Owning 44, 50 bank accounts is not a crime in law — CPPM
The Executive Chairman,Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate, CPPM, Nelson Ekujumi said the law does not stipulate the number of bank accounts an individual can have.
Ekujumi, maintained that owning 44 or 50 bank accounts is not a crime in law, but the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria frowns or prohibits persons or organization owning bank accounts and using it for purposes other than it was intended, which is for commercial or private transactions.
According bro him; “If in the operation of a bank account, the owner is found to have broken the law by engaging in acts of money laundering, terrorism or whatever crime, then he or she should be made to face the consequences notwithstanding whether he or she is a pastor, Imam or agitator or whatever.
“The law does not give anyone the right or power to operate a single or multiple bank accounts to undermine national security by causing insurrection.”