Pelumi Olajengbesi, counsel for the arrested aides of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho has written a prominent Yoruba monarch, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi over the continued detention of two Yoruba Nation agitators.
Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had raided Igboho’s house in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on July 1, and arrested 12 of his aides who were illegally detained for weeks, before the victims went ahead to challenge their detention and rights’ abuse in court.
After much deliberations, ten aides were released. The secret police, however, refused to release the remaining two persons, Lady K and one other, contrary to an order of the court that granted bail to the entire 12 aides of the Yoruba Nation agitator in the custody of the agency.
The secret police had earlier on August 30 released eight of the activists.
They had met their bail conditions including the provision of 24 sureties but the DSS lawyer, Idowu Awo, kicked against the bail granted by Justice Egwuatu to four of the detainees, claiming that they were heavily involved in the alleged offence of arms stockpiling and other criminal activities of their boss, Igboho.
Awo had filed a remand application for the four detainees saying their release would affect the investigation. He had also approached an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja to revoke the bail earlier granted to the four persons.
The aides were released to Olajengbesi after the DSS failed to comply with a court ruling on the matter.
In a recent development, Olajengbesi, in his letter to the Ooni on Monday, urged the Yoruba leader to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the court order and release the two aides left in custody.
The letter was titled, “Continuous unlawful and wicked detention of two of Igboho’s aides by the state security service: a call for intervention.”
It reads: “I am writing this very important letter to your imperial majesty in reverent acknowledgement of your capacity as a foremost monarch and the holder of the ancestral staff of the progenitor of the Yoruba Race, a tribe whose members currently striving for re-definition are being held by the State Security Service (hereinafter referred to as SSS) under the most dehumanising conditions and in blatant disregard of a court order granting them their freedom.
”Also, as one of the more frequent honoured guests of the Villa, Nigeria’s Seat of Power, where you command an uncommon audience, and as a point of contact to Yoruba Leaders across the country, this letter has become necessary for justice to triumph over injustice.
“Sir, you may recall that on the 1st of July, 2021 a combined team of the SSS (also known as DSS) and military men raided the home of Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Sunday Igboho Osa not finding him, destroyed his properties, looted his house, effected the unlawful arrest of twelve of his associates and murdered two in cold blood.
“After concerted efforts by the detainees’ Legal Team mandating the SSS to produce the detainees in court, the court in its wisdom and powers granted bail to all of the twelve detainees pending a formal institution of criminal prosecution against them by the State Security Service and subsequently, the court ordered that they should be released.
“However, to our consternation, the SSS reluctantly released a total of ten out of twelve detained and denied two, namely Amudat Habibat Babatunde and Jamiu Noah Oyetunji, their freedom in arrogant disregard of the court order granting them bail on conditions that have since been met and perfected.
“Sir, the SSS refusal to respect an order of the court in this instance is made all the more ominous by the very present threat to the lives of the detainees, particularly Amudat Habibat Babatunde, whose health has rapidly deteriorated and who is being held for her strong belief in the uniqueness of the Yoruba race and the need to legitimately secure the best possible outcome for its people.
“We are well-advised of your strong socio-political campaign for the welfare and wellness of your people and your uncommon commitment to fair play, natural justice and equity. Your ascension to the throne was greeted with expressions of hope and gratitude owing to your steadfast leadership style and reliability as king, father and protector of your people.
“All of this will now be called to question if you remain silent in a crucial time like this without demanding to know the whereabouts of a Yoruba child or daughter, given the fact that they are now being held unlawfully and unjustly.
“It is therefore in your capacity as King, Father and Protector that we make this deferential request in the hopes that you may kindly stand in the gap for your subjects who have gained their freedom on paper but continue to be incarcerated on a whim by the State Security Service.
“If protecting your subjects is one of the essential powers of your office, we do make bold most respectfully to state that this is an opportune time to give impetus to your role as the leader of your people. We, therefore, call on you to speak to President Muhammadu Buhari to let your unlawfully detained people go.
“On behalf of the entire Legal Team, may we thank you for your time and consideration even as we express the hope that our humble request is met with accelerated action in the interest of justice.”