After 114 gruelling days in the custody of the Department of State Services, two of the 12 aides of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, have regained their freedom, The PUNCH has learnt.
The DSS had, on July 1, 2021, during a midnight invasion of Igboho’s Soka house in Ibadan, Oyo State, arrested 12 of the activist’s allies and whisked them away to Abuja, where they had been kept in detention.
After a long dilly-dally, the secret police, in compliance to a court order, first released eight of the 12 detainees on Monday, August 30, 2021, holding onto the remaining four.
Those earlier released were Abideen Shittu, Abdullateef Onaolapo, Ayobami Donald, Olakunle Oluwapelumi, Dikeola Ademola, Bamidele Sunday, Raji Kazeem, and Taiwo Tajudeen.
The additional two freed on September 3, 2021 are Tajudeen rinloye and Uthman Adelabu.
Amudat Babatunde (female) and Jamiu Oyetunji were freed on Friday.
The detainees’ lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, confirmed their release to The PUNCH on Friday.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on August 4, 2021, granted bail to the 12 detainees.
They had met their bail conditions, including the provision of 24 sureties, but the DSS lawyer, Idowu Awo, had kicked against the bail granted by Justice Egwuatu to four of them, claiming that they were heavily involved in the alleged offence of arms stockpiling and other criminal activities of their boss, Igboho.
The PUNCH had also reported that the DSS filed terrorism charges against Oyetunji and Babatunde, a female blogger who did a Facebook Live around 2am on July 1, 2021, when the DSS in a joint operation with sister agencies raided Igboho’s residence.
Known as ‘Lady K ifeoluwa show’ on Facebook, the blogger with over 17,000 followers had turned on her Facebook Live on the midnight of July 1 during the raid of Igboho’s house by the Nigerian security forces.
Seated on a bed in a room in one of the apartments in Igboho’s residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, a fear-torn Lady K had made a 12-minute video, alerting the world that DSS operatives had “attacked” the residence of her boss.
In the video which is still on her Facebook page as of the time of filing this report, an alarmed Lady K had said, “Please share this video, soldiers have attacked Chief Sunday Igboho’s house. We are under attack. Nigerian soldiers have attacked us at Chief Sunday Igboho’s house.
“You can hear the gunshots. This is about 2am. They have been shooting for over 10 minutes now. I had to confirm it before coming on this Live. I heard their gunshots from my sleep. I can’t come out now. They told me not to come out but alert the world through this Facebook Live.”
Igboho’s spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, had also alleged that the DSS removed the closed-circuit television in his principal’s house after the raid, an allegation the DSS has not denied.
Lady K was said to be a member of the media team of the Yoruba Nation arrowhead before the DSS arrested her alongside 11 others during the raid. The secret police also said its operatives killed two other associates of the activist during a “gun duel”.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/305/2021, which was dated August 31, 2021, the DSS through one of its lawyers, S.M. Bello, filed five terrorism charges against Oyetunji and Babatunde.
The DSS alleged that Oyetunji and Lady K were in possession of firearms for terrorism-related activities while it specifically alleged that Lady K promoted terrorist acts through her Facebook account.
“That you Amudat Habibat Babatunde (f) adult of Okeara of Ibadan, Oyo State did use your Facebook account as a platform to promote terrorist activities contrary to Section 18 (1 &2) of the Cybercrimes Prohibition Prevention Act 2015,” count five on the charge sheet read.
The court has not fixed any date for the hearing.
But reacting in an earlier chat with The PUNCH, Olajengbesi had described the charges as “baseless, vexatious, shameful and without limbs.”
Igboho, wanted by the DSS for alleged arms trafficking, has been in detention in Cotonou, Benin Republic, since July 19, 2021 when he was arrested at an airport as he tried to board a Germany-bound flight.