Chief Yomi Alliyu SAN, FCIArb., counsel to Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has described as grossly illegal and unconstitutional the invasion of the house of the Yoruba separatist leader by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS).
RRPORTERS AT LARGE recalls that the Ibadan house of the Igboho was invaded in the early hours of last Thursday by the DSS operatives who alleged that the Yoruba warlord was stockpiling ammunition.
Two of Igboho’s aides were killed during the invasion, just as the security operatives took away 13 other persons and also claimed to have recovered from the house seven AK-47 riffles, three pump action guns, several international passports and cache of charms and amulets.
This was as Igboho, however, described the claims of the security operatives as a total falsehood, declaring that the said recovered ammunition were planted in his house to frame him up.
Reacting to the invasion and the subsequent killings, Chief Alliyu, in a statement made available to REPORTERS AT LARGE in Ibadan, said the accusations leveled against his client was false. He added that Igboho has been preaching peace, even in his crusade for a Yoruba Nation.
He further described Igboho as a peace-loving crusader who has held rallies in support of his cause in more than 20 Yoruba cities and towns without recording any casualty.
Alliyu alleged that the security operatives invaded Igboho’s residence, not with the intent to arrest him, but to outrightly kill him and implored the Federal Goverment to prevail on the DSS to stop tagging him as a criminal and also to apologise to Igboho for the invasion.
He called on the government to order an investigation into the invasion, with a view to sanction the DSS operatives, free all the people arrested and also demanded for 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.
“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 Yoruba Nation.
“We can boldly say that, as people who followed his campaign, but not necessarily supporting dismemberment of Nigeria, that 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 at date,” Alliyu said.
He said the invasion of Igboho’s residence and the subsequent killing of two of his aides by the security operatives was tantamount to calling a dog a bad name to hang it.
“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 in accordance with the rules of international law and UNO Charter.
“Our Constitution (as amended) also permits freedom of association and, by necessary implications, freedom to dissociate.
“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.
“Section 12 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act enjoins the police and/or any security operatives to first make a demand to enter a place where a suspect is and if their demand was not granted to break open the ‘outer or inner door of any house or place’.
“No demand to enter was made but rather they shot their way into the house allegedly killing seven (7) 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 in view of the fact that 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 and ensuring that the building was totally made uninhabitable. Also, all the expensive vehicles in our clients 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 their arresting two (2) police escorts of Mr Sunday Igboho’s guests.
“[They] added their [the two police escorts] guns to those harvested from their armoury with a view to making members of the public to 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 of over 20 years will testify that Igboho Oosa does not carry 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 were 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 ammunitions 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 clients house is a five-bedroom duplex with five chalets of two and three bedrooms. These were totally 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 jewelleries 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 in lieu 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.
“We hereby demand that the Federal Government orders an investigation into the actions of the various security operatives, led by DSS, that raided Chief Sunday Adeyemo’s house with a view to sanctioning them and release all the innocent people arrested and compensate the families of those murdererd.
“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.
“In any case as admirers of this government and one Nigeria, we personally implore all the governors of South-West States that know the yearnings of their people and Igboho’s large followership to wade in before it becomes hydra-headed security problems in all their domains,” the statement further read.