Verdicts On Sunday Igboho And Aides: Afenifere Salutes Judiciary

… Urges Relevant Govt Agencies To Comply With Court’s Rulings

The pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has praised the two Nigerian judges who delivered judgments on two cases involving the Yoruba activist, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) and his detained aides on Wednesday.

In a release signed by the organization’s National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere stated that “the verdicts given by Justices Oladiran Akintola and Obiora Egwaatu further reinforce our confidence in the judiciary… We call on the officials and government agencies concerned to comply with the court’s rulings’. 

It would be recalled that Justice Oladiran Akintola of the State High Court in Ibadan and Justice Obiora Egwaatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, gave rulings in respect of Igboho and his aides respectively.

The verdict by Justice Akintola granted an ex-parte motion restraining the Directorate of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from arresting, intimidating, harassing and blocking bank accounts of Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho). It also restraint the agency of government from freezing the accounts of the activist, and where this had been done, it must be de-frozen according to the ruling.

The verdict was given against the background of a fear that the federal government may be nursing the thought of arresting the activist who is presently on trial in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

In a similar vein, Justice Obiora Egwaatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, same day, granted bails to the 12 aides of Sunday Igboho who were arrested on July 1, this year when officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) service invaded the Soka residence of the Yoruba nation agitator. Two persons were reportedly killed during the invasion.

It took valiant legal efforts of Barrister Pelumi Olajengbensi to counter the efforts of the the DSS lawyer, Barrister I. Awo who tried to stop the suspects from being granted bails. Afenifere saluted the courage of Justice Obiora Egwaatu for granting the bails especially given the fact that the suspects have been in the custody of the DSS for 34 days without being charged to court.

“This is against the expressed provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which, in Section 35(4), stipulates that a suspect be charged to court within 24 hours of arrest”

Afenifere praised Justice Egwaatu for insisting that all the detainees be brought to court when the DSS was literally playing hide and seek with their fate. 

“In a saner clime, their initial submission of not knowing where some of the detainees were should earn the officials concern sanction. They did so all in an attempt to prevent the detainees from getting justice. We salute Justice Egwaatu for standing firm and for eventually granting the detainees bails.”

Afenifere spokesman added that since it is the Constitution that stipulates the time period of 24 hours within which a suspect must be charged to court after arrest, “any officer or agency of government that contravenes this aspect of the law must be sanctioned severely to serve as a deterrence to others. It is the failure to sanction erring officials of government in the past that emboldened others to trample on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians”.

Ajayi also gave kudos to Justice Akintola for granting the prayers of  Igboho’s lawyer, Barrister Yomi Alliyu in the course of arguing the N500 billion case he instituted against the DSS for damages caused when the agency forcefully invaded his client’s house. 

“The verdicts of Justices Akintola and Egwaatu confirm the exhortation that the court is the place to go when one’s right is infringed upon”.

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