Saturday, 24 July 2021

Igboho Arrested With Nigerian, German Passports, Says lawyer

One of  Sunday Igboho’s counsel, Ibrahim David Salami, yesterday dismissed as untrue speculations that a Beninese passport was found on the activist.

Salami told BBC Yoruba in Cotonou that only Nigerian and German passports were found in his possession at the time of his arrest last Monday while on his way to Frankfurt.

Earlier reports had suggested that Igboho was being quizzed by the Beninese authorities partly on account of that country’s passport he carried at the time of his arrest.

“No Beninese passport was found on Sunday Igboho when he was arrested,” Salami said.

He added: “What was found on him were Nigerian and German passports.

“His wife had her German passport at the point of arrest.”

Following the bloody raid on Igboho’s Sooka residence, the Department of State Services arrested and detained 13 of Igboho’s associates, adding that during a “gun duel,” it had killed two of Igboho’s supporters later identified as Adogan and Alfa.

DSS had presented seven AK-47 rifles allegedly recovered during the raid on Igboho’s house on July 1, as well as three pump-action guns, 30 fully charged AK-47 magazines, 5,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, five cutlasses, one jack-knife, one pen knife, two pistol holsters, a pair of binoculars, a wallet containing $5, local and international driving licences in his name, ATM cards, a German residence permit No. YO2N6K1NY bearing his name, two whistles, 50 cartridges and 18 walkie-talkies.

Others were three charm jackets/traditional body armour, two laptops, one Toshiba and one Compaq laptop, Igboho’s passport and those of his aides.

Hearing in Igboho’s case in Cotonou is scheduled to resume on Monday.

The Court on Thursday evening ordered that he be remanded in the custody of Brigade Criminelle in Cotonou pending the submission of charges by the Nigerian government.

The activist and his wife, Ropo, were arrested at the Cardinal Bernardin International Airport, Cotonou on Monday while trying to catch a flight to Germany.

Spokesman for  the Yoruba self-determination groups’ umbrella body, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO) Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, quoting Igboho’s lawyers, said the activist could not be extradited to Nigeria for two principal reasons: Nigeria and Benin have no Extradition Agreement; and Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order lgboho’s extradition to Nigeria.”

“What Nigerian government came up with were mere allegations against Igboho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence…” he said.

Igboho has been remanded in the custody of Brigade Criminelle while his wife was released.

Court orders DSS to produce detained Igboho’s associates

A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce before it next Thursday 12 associates of Igboho who were arrested during the July 2 raid of his Sooka, Ibadan residence.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order while ruling on an ex-parte application argued by the lawyer to the 12 detainees, Pelumi Olajengbesi.

Olajengbesi told the court that the plaintiffs have been kept incommunicado since their arrest. The detainees are Abdullateef Ofeyagbe, Amuda Babatunde (alias Lady K), Tajudeen Erinoyen Diekola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, Jamiu Noah, Ayobami Donald, Adelabe Usman, Oluwapelumi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.

Justice Egwuatu, in his ruling, ordered the DSS to produce them in court on the next date to enable the court inquire into the circumstances constituting grounds of their arrest and detention since July 2, 2021

The judge also ordered the DSS to show cause why the 12 detainees should not be released on either conditional or unconditional bail.

He said that in view of the urgency involved in the case, further hearing in the fundamental rights enforcement suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/647/2, filed by the detainees, shall be heard during the court’s vacation.

He adjourned till July 29 for further hearing in the suit which has the DSS and its Director General as respondents.

Olajengbesi, in court documents, said the reliefs sought by his clients were informed by the fact that they “are law abiding citizens of Nigeria who enjoy the protection of the Constitution as well as other applicable laws, particularly the provision of sections 35(4) and 36(5) of the Constitution and Section 32 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015).

“The applicants were arrested in the early hours of Thursday, the 2nd of July, 2021 by officers and agents of the respondents at the residence of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, and are being detained at the Respondents facility in Abuja.

“The state of affairs relating to the arrest of the applicants was later confirmed and published by the respondents, who claimed responsibility for their arrest and detention in Abuja.

“Upon the applicants’ arrest, the applicants were subsequently transferred to Federal Capital Territory, Abuja under the watch and guide of the respondents, who have since held the applicants in detention till date.

“Following the applicant’s arrest, concrete and concise efforts have been made by their lawyers to get access to the applicants in order to provide them with necessary legal representation as stipulated under the law, but same has been glaringly frustrated by the respondents who have as well denied the applicants access to their lawyers and other family members.

“Despite the clear provisions of law, which place responsibility on law enforcement agency to charge a suspect within 24hrs of arrest, the respondents in flagrant disregard to the provisions of the law have continued to keep the applicants under detention without any charge against them before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The applicants are aware that they enjoy the constitutional protection of presumption of innocence as well as fair trial within a reasonable time under the applicable laws in Nigeria.”

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