By Lukman Olabiyi
Leader of the Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Emeritus Prof Banji Akintoye has revealed that various allegations levelled against President Muhammadu Buhari and others in the petition sent and acknowledged by the International Criminal Court (ICC), were not frivolous but weighty and backed with enough evidence.
The communications manager of the group , Maxwell Adeleyei, who spoke on behalf of the professor, disclosed this to Saturday Sun in a chat while giving update on the activities of Yoruba self-determination agitators to actualise their dream.
Adeleye said all the signatories to the petition, were well prepared to prove their case against President Buhari and his co-travellers.
On July 13, ICC formally acknowledged receipt of the 27-page petition filed by the agitators against President Buhari, others.
Signatories to the petition are the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye; Yoruba Activist, Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Sunday Igboho; and 49 others
Others indicted in the petition includes Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai and former Inspectors General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Muhammed Adamu.
In the petition, the Yoruba nation agitators accused the Nigerian leaders and security chiefs of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Yoruba people of Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Okun Land in Kogi, and Kwara states.
A letter dated, July 13, address to the petitioners’ lawyer, Aderemilekun Omojola by the ICC’s Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Mark P. Dilon, read, “This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office.
“We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The 27-page petition accused Buhari, Malami, Buratai, and others of killing members of the petitioners group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part.
They were also accused of crimes against humanity, such as murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, torture, rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity.
The petition also indicted the following: Comptroller General of Customs, Hammid Alli; Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba; Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya; former Chief of Air Force, Sadiq Abubakar; former Commandant-General of NSCDC, Ahmed Abubakar Audi; Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services, Mohammed Babandede and the Commandant-General of NSCDC, Abdulahi Gana Muhammadu.
Similarly, a source within the group has also revealed that the 49 agitators arrested by the police in Ojota area of Lagos State on July 3 while protesting in support of the actualisation of Yoruba nation will regain their freedom very soon.
After their arrest, on Monday July 5th, 2021, the police took the detainees to court, to obtain an order to further detain them for another 21 days to complete their investigation and the issuance of advice from the Director of Public Prosecution.
However, the group, through its lawyer, Olasupo Ojo, and Oladapo Kayode, challenged the court’s order an filed a bail application for the detainees.
The court has fixed July 27, 2021 to rule on the bail application but a source who did not want his name in print, has hinted that the detainees might get their freedom before the date fixed by the court,
Meanwhile the Obateru of Egbin Kingdom in Ikorodu, Lagos, Oba Adeoriyomi Abdu-Akeem Oluwasesan Oyebo, has also stated that the failure of the government to carry along the traditional institutions in their activities, most especially, on security was partly responsible for the unending security challenges in the country.
The monarch said kidnapping, armed robbery and other crimes were non-existent in his domain.