Malami drags Igboho, Kanu deeper into infamy

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Malami

For the duo of Sunday Adeyemo Igboho and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, it seems that when it rains, it also pours. For a season, the activists carried out their separate agitations with remarkable candour, angst and air of invincibility. But, not again.

This certainly cannot be a good season for Igboho, the Yoruba nation activist, who was arrested on 27th July, along with his wife in Cotonou. The wise saying among his southwest kinsmen that when a man is brought down by a big affliction, it leaves him at the torment of smaller problems, is apt.

Igboho is a businessman and agitator for self determination for the Yorubs. He was caught trying to escape to Germany and has been in custody of the police, for months in Benin Republic. He has since been in court, facing trial for illegal migration and attempt to cause civil unrest.

His counsels and sympathisers have thus far, managed to prevent his evacuation to Nigeria, where more grievous charges of instigating public unrest, treason and terrorism are awaiting him. In the last few weeks, his supporters have also severally raised the alarm over his failing health and an alleged poison, consequently appealing for his release to enable him get medical attention.

Hopes of his early release on Friday suffered a dent, when the Federal Government through Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made fresh allegations bodering on terrorism funding against the embattled separatist.

Malami who addressed journalists in his office disclosed that Federal Government’s investigations have revealed the sponsors of Igboho. He said a probe committee headed by him has confirmed links between Igboho and a federal law maker on one hand and a link with a Boko Haram sponsor convicted in the United Arab Emirates, UAE. He said the activist runs 43 bank accounts.

Igboho

“Investigation reveals that Adesun International Concept Ltd (belonging to Igboho) transferred the sum of N12,750,000 to Abbal Bako & Sons.

“It might be recalled that Abbal Bako & Sons and its promoter Abdullahi Umar Usman are suspects in the on-going Joint Terrorist Financing Investigation.

“Abdullahi Umar Usman is by way of financial transaction connected to Surajo Muhammad (who was sentenced to life imprisonment in UAE on charges of financing terrorism (Boko Haram),” Malami said.

The minister explained that the report showed the nexus between separatists’ agitation, terrorism financing and disruptions of peace in the country.

“The report found connections of financial transaction between Adesun International Concept Ltd (belonging to Igboho) and some construction companies and businesses among others.”

After his allegations against Igboho, the Minister went for the knife against Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. Kanu is standing trial for seven charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism and was left in the custody of Department of State Services, DSS, by Justice Binta Nyako of Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday.

Malami who heads the 24-member ad-hoc committee set up by President Muhammodu Buhari condemned Kanu. He accused the IPOB leader of masterminding the death of Dr. Chike Akunyili, Senator Ahmed Gulak and 184 others in addition to causing mayhem and the destruction or burning of several public facilities in the southeast.

“The destructive activities of IPOB/ESN pose serious threat to Nigeria’s national security and its corporate existence, which resulted into re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu and members of his group,” Mr Malami said.

Kanu

“We have also established that Kanu is not alone in his subversive activities. He has accomplices in Nigeria and abroads, individuals and groups as well as state and non-state actors who are aiding and facilitating his campaign against the people and state of Nigeria.

“Some of the state actors aided Kanu, even as a fugitive, in his destructive mission, ignoring the terrorist nature of his activities.

Although Malami did not mention names, he added that “we call on these countries to desist from aiding subversive acts by KANU and IPOB against the state of Nigeria and its people.”

But in swift reactions, Ilana Oodua and some human rights groups have risen in defence of Igboho and Kanu. Chief Yomi Aliyu one of the Counsels of Igboho, faulted the claims made by Malami, describing them as mere conjectures and not hard fact. He wondered why the Minister did not name the lawmaker allegedly sponsoring his client

His statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a text press conference by the Hon Attorney General and Minister of Finance wherein he fruitlessly tried to paint our client and those patronising 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 #12.7m 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 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 conference. What the Hon AGF stated are mere conjectures. Not hard fact. Our client according to him paid Umar and NOT vice versa thus believing what the Honourable Attorney General of Federation earlier said that Chief Sunday Adeyemo is being financed by people.

“The picture the Learned AGF wanted to paint is that our Client is being financed by Abdullah Umar allegedly involved in terrorists financing. Who is now financing who? Again, Chief Adeyemo is a car dealer trading in the name of Adesun International Concept Ltd. Does it mean that anybody buying car from him or selling car to him is a terrorist?

“Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Igboho Oosa was not into Oodua Nation until last year. So finding over #273m turnover 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 #2billion!

“I challenge the Hon AGF to mention the lawmaker that sent money to Chief Sunday Adeyemo for terrorist act 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 judgement that agitation for self determination is not an act of terrorism but fundamental human right of any citizen.

In the same vein, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has slammed Malami for blaming Kanu for every crime in Nigeria. The spokesman for the group, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, in an interview said, “Our understanding of Malami’s address is that he has heaped all the criminalities across the country over the period on IPOB.

“It appears right now that investigations are already concluded on who killed Dr Chike Akunyili, the husband of the late Dora Akunyili and Ahmed Gulak and those who destroyed the palace of the Oba of Lagos. His remarks also showed that he already knows the killers.

“As the Attorney General of the Federation, whatever remark Malami makes should be highly founded on facts. It’s not supposed to be involved in speculations.

These look like classical cases of those who are down, fearing further fall. Who will get Igboho, Kanu and their fellow wayfairers off the hook?

Credit: TheNews