Just In: You omitted your name — Afenifere replies Malami for linking Igboho with terrorism

He said the whole world knows the real promoters of terrorism in Nigeria.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

/ by National Pivot

There is plenty of outrage following the Buhari government’s recent statement on Friday, accusing Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) of having links with financiers of Boko Haram. 

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), at a press conference in Abuja, on ‘Investigation Reports on Acts of Terrorism and Allied Offences Perpetrated by Nnamdi Kanu and Report on the Sponsors and Financiers of Sunday Igboho and Associates’, disclosed that there were financial transactions between Igboho’s company and someone who has been convicted of financing Boko Haram. 

The Buhari government had claimed knowledge of terror sponsors in the country, and has been under pressure to name names, but which it repeatedly declined. 

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, had said the Federal Government’s focus would be on the prosecution of suspects, not shaming anyone.

“Naming and shaming won’t be the motive. Rather, bringing malefactors to justice would be it. Nigeria is not interested in naming and shaming anybody. Rather, it wants to bring them to justice,” Adesina said.

However, the sudden change, and targeting of Igboho as one of those financing terrorism in the country, has raised dust, and immediately drew the ire of groups in the country who accuse the Buhari government of blackmail, and targeting of innocent Nigerians instead of naming the real financiers of terrorism in the country.

According to Malami, investigations revealed that a company owed by Igboho, Adesun International Concept Ltd, registered on 23 April, 2010, had several business dealings to the tune of millions of naira, with Abbal Bako & Sons, a company he said is allegedly being probed for terrorism financing activities. 

“It might be recalled that Abbal Bako & Sons and its promoter, Abdullahi Umar Usman, are suspects in the ongoing joint terrorist financing investigation. Abdullahi Umar Usman is, by way of financial transaction, connected to Surajo Abubakar Muhammad who was sentenced to life imprisonment in UAE on charges of financing terrorism (Boko Haram),” Malami disclosed. 

However, Igboho’s lawyer, Chief Yomi Alliyu, SAN, said attempts by the Buhari government to paint his client as a terrorist, will not succeed. 

In a statement issued on Friday, Alliyu challenged the AGF to name the lawmaker allegedly financing Igboho, threatening that the Minister of Justice would be slammed with “exemplary damages for defamation.” 

The statement titled ‘Chief Sunday Igboho is a businessman, not a terrorist’, signed by Igboho’s lawyer reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the text of a press conference by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice wherein he fruitlessly tried to paint our client and those his car trade as terrorists and/or financiers of terrorists. 

“I have gone through the text. Sunday was alleged to have transferred the sum of N12.7 million to Abbal Bako & Sons owned by Abdullahi Umar. Transferring money to bureau de change to buy dollars is what is done by every businessman of our client’s calibre. Thank God that his passports and various bills of ladings were carted away by the DSS during the ungodly invasion of 1st July, 2021. 

“Thus, so far, there is no evidence of receipt of money from Abbal Bako & Sons or Abdullahi Umar, going by the text of the press conference. What the Hon AGF stated are mere conjectures, not hard facts. Our client, according to him, paid Umar and not vice versa, thus belying what the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation earlier said that Chief Sunday Adeyemo is being financed by some people. The picture the learned AGF wanted to paint is that our client is being financed by Abdullah Umar, allegedly involved in terrorism financing. Who is now financing whom? 

“Again, Chief Adeyemo is a car dealer trading in the name of Adesun International Concept Ltd. Does it mean that anybody buying cars from him or selling cars to him is a terrorist? 

“Chief Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a. Igboho Oosa, was not into Oodua Nation until last year. So, finding over N273 million turnover (in his account) between October 2013 and September 2020 shows that he was not a poor man. 

His house invaded by DSS on 1st July, 2020 is worth over N2 billion. “I challenge the Honourable AGF to mention the lawmaker that sent money to Chief Sunday Adeyemo for terrorist acts whether he would not be damnified in exemplary damages for defamation. “Up till date, our client has not been prosecuted or found liable for any criminal act or terrorism. There is also a valid and subsisting court judgment that agitation for self-determination is not an act of terrorism but a fundamental human right of any citizen. 

“My learned brother silk and Honourable AGF knows that suspicion, no matter how great, cannot grant conviction. “Chief Sunday Adeyemo i s not a terrori st bu t a campaigner for selfdetermination.” 

On its part, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Sola Ebiseni, said the latest development indicated that the Federal Government is hell-bent on destroying the Yoruba Nation campaigner. 

The organisation said: “The Federal Government with its Attorney-General will not stop amusing themselves with illogical reasoning on the nationality question. 

“It is expected that the AGF would be guided by the standard of a reasonable man which is a central test in legal inquiry before addressing the public. 

“The Federal Government and its security agencies should pay the damages awarded against them, apologise to Igboho and his household for the acts of terrorism committed against the peaceful campaigner. 

“The Federal Government may continue to play the ostrich but the whole world knows those who enacted, engineered and continue to promote terrorism in Nigeria.”

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