Prof Banji Akintoye, Yoruba Nation activist, says he is not intimidated by the reported plot of the Federal Government to arrest him.
The leader of the self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, said this in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘I am in Republic of Benin with Sunday Igboho, not on the run – Akintoye.’
The 86-year-old professor of history was reacting to an exclusive report by Sunday PUNCH that the ex-Senate member in the Second Republic left Nigeria about three months ago when he uncovered plot by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to arrest him.
Akintoye and embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho have been seen holding press conferences and rallies to champion the cause for the secession of Yoruba Nation.
Igboho, now in a detention facility in Cotonou, had been declared wanted by the Department of State Services for allegedly stockpiling arms to destabilise Nigeria under the pretext of Yoruba Nation, an allegation he denied.
This was after the secret police raided Igboho’s Ibadan around 1am on July 1, 2021, killed two of his associates and arrested 12.
Igboho had gone underground and escaped to Benin Republic but was apprehended on July 19, 2021 around 8pm while he tried to board a flight to Germany with his wife, Ropo.
In a statement on Sunday, Akintoye said he didn’t run away from Nigeria but had been in Benin Republic to ensure the release of Igboho.
The statement was signed by his Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye.
According to the statement, Akintoye said just like Ighoho, he has committed no offense against Nigerian laws to warrant being arrested, intimidated or harassed.
Adeleye quoted Akintoye as saying, “Myself, the President-General and Professor Wale Adeniran (Chairman) of Ilana Omo Oodua, are currently in the Republic of Benin as reported, but not on the run.
“We are here to supervise and coordinate, by all legal and other means, the struggle for the release of our son and patriot, Sunday Adeyemo, detained by the government.
“By demanding peaceful self-determination for the Yoruba Nation, I am not breaking any law, since self-determination is recognised by the International and Nigerian laws to be an inalienable right of every nationality, large or small, in the world.
“I have earned a solid reputation as a highly respectable advocate of a peaceful self-determination struggle. I have even written a book on the subject which is already being used as a manual by Yoruba self-determination advocates and organisations.
“Irrespective of what the Nigerian Government may be planning against me, I want to say without any fear or intimidation that I will be returning to Nigeria immediately Ighoho is released from the custody. I can’t be intimidated because I’ve not committed any offense, just like Sunday Igboho.”
Electoral Act: Supreme Court Strikes Out Buhari’s Suit Against NASS
The Supreme Court, on Friday, struck out a suit filed against the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari challenging the legality of the controversial section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The Apex Court held that Buhari, having assented to the Electoral Bill on February 25, 2022, has no power to turn around to challenge the legality of the Electoral Act.
The Supreme Court, in a judgment prepared and delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, declared the action of Buhari in instituting the case as a gross abuse of court.
The Apex Court said the President by the suit sought to approbate and reprobate at the same time and that such must not be allowed.
Besides, the court held that Buhari has no power under any law to dictate to the National Assembly on law-making.
The unanimous verdict held that Buhari, having participated in the making of the Electoral Act by his assent, lacked Constitutional powers to come up to challenge same.
Lawyer Protests Hijab Ruling, Appears at Supreme Court Dressed in Native Doctor’s Attire
A human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omoirhobo, on Thursday, caused a stir due to his mode of dressing at the Supreme Court in Abuja.
Photos circulated on social media showed Omoirhobo dressed in a lawyer’s robe mixed with other materials that made him look like an African native doctor.
The lawyer had a gourd with cowries around his neck and a feather on his wig.
According to him, he wore the attire to show gratitude to the Supreme Court which had, on Friday, June 17, 2022, granted the use of hijab by female Muslim students in government-owned schools in Lagos.
“That we are free to express our way of worship in our schools and in our courts. That decision was reached on Friday and that has encouraged me.
“Because I am a traditionalist and this is the way I worship. Based on the decision of the Supreme Court, this is how I will be dressing henceforth in court because I am a strong adherent to ‘Olokun’, the god of rivers.”
Reacting, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Ibadan, Francis Egbokhare, told The PUNCH that the lawyer’s action exposed the ridiculousness that is sometimes associated with law.
He said, “I believe this is just basically sarcasm, as far as I’m concerned, bringing to our attention the ridiculousness sometimes of law when you stretch it out to such an extent.
“For instance, if dress code does not matter, or if you are to modify a dress code, the question is what are the boundaries or limitations, and where do you draw the line?”
Advising the lawyer, Egobkare said, “I think it will be a good thing for him to test it further because this is a comic relief so far. Until he brings it up through the legal process, it may not have any impact beyond just giving us something to laugh about.”
UK Police Arrest Ekweremadu, Wife for Alleged Plan to Harvest Child’s Organs
The United Kingdom Metropolitan Police have formally charged two Nigerians with conspiracy to facilitate the travel of another person for organ harvesting.
The suspects were arrested and charged over their plan to bring a child into the country to allegedly harvest the said child’s organs.
The two arrested suspects were identified as Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, and Ike Ekweremadu, 60, from Nigeria.
The suspects who have been remanded in custody will appear at Uxbridge magistrates court later on Thursday.
They are charged with conspiracy to harvest organs, The Guardian UK reports.
According to the report, the charges involve arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting, the Met said in a statement.
The child involved has been safeguarded, according to the Met.
The investigation was launched after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022, the force said.