The Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is presently in the eyes of the storm for his alleged spurious allegations levelled against Sunday Igboho at the Abuja Press Conference on Friday.
In his reaction, Sunday Igboho Counsel, Chief Yomi Aliyyu (SAN), the Yoruba Nation agitator challenged the AGF to name the lawmaker who he claimed transferred money to him.
The statement was titled, “Chief Sunday Igboho is a businessman, not a terrorist.”
It read in part,
“Our attention has been drawn to a text of press conference by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) 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 N12.7m 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 July 1, 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 AGF stated are mere conjectures. Not a hard fact.
“Our client according to him paid Umar and not vice versa thus belying 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 terrorist 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 a car from him or selling a car to him is a terrorist?”
The counsel said Igboho was not involved in the activities of Yoruba self-determination until 2020, saying finding over N273m turnover between October 2013 and September 2020 showed that he was not a poor man.
“I challenge the AGF to mention the lawmaker that sent money to Chief Sunday Adeyemo for terrorism act,” saying such a person would be taken to court.
“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 the fundamental human right of any citizen.
“My learned brother Silk and Hon AGF knows that suspicion, no matter how great, cannot grant conviction.
“Chief Sunday Adeyemo is not a terrorist but a campaigner for self-determination.”
Malami’s reasons shallow – Akintoye Also reacting, Yoruba Nation arrowhead, Prof Banji Akintoye, accused the AGF of being shallow and inconsistent with his accusations heaped on Igboho.
The octogenarian said it was shallow of the AGF to link a so-called transaction in 2013 to the struggle for self-determination which began in 2020.
In a statement on Friday by his spokesman, Maxwell Adeleye, the 86-year-old scholar and historian, said Malami’s accusation was “coined to tarnish a noble and constitutional struggle of the Yoruba people.”
The leader of the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, said the AGF’s statement linking Ighoho and some indicted sponsors of terrorism “is empty, watery, cruel and irresponsible, stating that the Nigerian government is just chasing shadows and attempting to bully the struggle for self-determination of the Yoruba people out of relevance.”
“We have read the statement credited to Mr Abubakar Malami, on behalf of the Nigerian Government. Our preliminary position is that having been defeated legally and morally, the government of Nigeria is now chasing shadows, bullying the truth, and making an inconsistent attempt to tarnish a noble struggle of the Yoruba people,” Akintoye said in a statement made available to Saturday PUNCH.
It was titled, ‘Terrorism: Nigerian Government Chasing Shadows, Inconsistent, Attempting to Bully a Noble, Constitutional Struggle of the People for Freedom – Ilana Omo Oodua’.
Similarly, the Coordinating counsel for Igboho, Olasupo Ojo, also described the allegation by Malami as unreasonable.
Reacting, Ojo said, “Igboho buys cars from Dubai, Germany, from the United States and other places. He has to pay or is he going to be asking from the person who sells cars to say, ‘Are you a terrorist?’ It is very stupid.
“All those who have been exposed as sponsors of terrorism, have they been arrested? Nobody has been charged to court. So, they are just ranting by all means, trying to look for a charge to hang him with.
“We are challenging them to come out with the details, publish it and we will defend it totally.
“Everybody knows Sunday Igboho is a businessman; he imports and sells cars to legislators, to politicians and others.
“So, the money that was given to him is for what purpose. They (government) should ask the owners of the accounts; have they interviewed them and they said the money they gave to Igboho is for terrorism or the vehicle that they purchased from Sunday Igboho? It is baseless and unreasonable for the government to conclude just like that.