The pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has praised the two Nigerian judges who delivered judgments on two cases involving the Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Igboho and his detained aides on Wednesday.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, urged the government to comply with the court rulings.
He noted that those responsible for the execution of the rulings should be sanctioned if they fail to comply.
Justice Oladiran Akintola of the State High Court in Ibadan and Justice Obiora Egwaatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, had on Wednesday, gave separate rulings in respect of Igboho and his aides respectively.
The verdict by Justice Akintola granted an ex-parte motion restraining the Directorate of State Services, DSS, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, from arresting, intimidating, harassing and blocking bank accounts of Igboho.
Justice Akintola also restrained the agencies of government from freezing the accounts of the activist, and where this had been done, it must be de-frozen according to the ruling.
Similarly, Justice Obiora Egwaatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, also granted bails to the 12 aides of Igboho who were arrested on July 1, by DSS operatives during a raid of his residence in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Reacting, Ajayi commended the judges for delivering such rulings.
Ajayi said: “The verdicts given by Justices Oladiran Akintola and Obiora Egwaatu further reinforce our confidence in the judiciary. We call on the officials and government agencies concerned to comply with the court’s rulings.
“It took valiant legal efforts of Barrister Pelumi Olajengbensi to counter the efforts of the DSS lawyer, Barrister I. Awo who tried to stop the suspects from being granted bails.
“Afenifere saluted the courage of Justice Obiora Egwaatu for granting the bails especially given the fact that the suspects have been in the custody of the DSS for 34 days without being charged to court.
This is against the expressed provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which, in Section 35(4), stipulates that a suspect be charged to court within 24 hours of arrest”
Afenifere praised Justice Egwaatu for insisting that all the detainees be brought to court when the DSS was literally playing hide and seek with their fate.
“In a saner clime, their initial submission of not knowing where some of the detainees were should earn the officials concern sanction. They did so all in an attempt to prevent the detainees from getting justice.
“We salute Justice Egwaatu for standing firm and for eventually granting the detainees bails.”
The Afenifere spokesman added that since it is the Constitution that stipulates the time period of 24 hours within which a suspect must be charged to court after arrest, “any officer or agency of government that contravenes this aspect of the law must be sanctioned severely to serve as a deterrence to others. It is the failure to sanction erring officials of government in the past that emboldened others to trample on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians”.
Ajayi also gave kudos to Justice Akintola for granting the prayers of Igboho’s lawyer, Barrister Yomi Alliyu in the course of arguing the N500 billion case he instituted against the DSS for damages caused when the agency forcefully invaded his client’s house.
“The verdicts Justices Akintola and Egwaatu confirm the exhortation that the court is the place to go when one’s right is infringed upon.”