47 out of the 48 Yoruba Nation agitators that were arrested during the July 3 rally in Lagos state, have been released from police custody.
Maxwell Adeleye, the spokesperson for Ilana Omo Oodua, a Yoruba self-determination group, made the announcement in a statement released on Tuesday July 27. He said they were released after meeting their bail conditions.
Among those granted bail are Olasunkanmi Tanimola; Kabiru Lawanson; Chinemerem Emmanuel; RasakiMusibau; Lukman Olalade; Olasanmi Oladipupo; Bashiru Shittu; Taofeek Abdusalam; Olamilekan Abata; Abdullahi Sikiru; Tosin Adeleye; and Babatunde Lawal.
The statement read;
“This is to inform the general public that 47 out of the 48 protesters arrested by the Nigerian Police during the Yoruba Nation Rallyheld July 3rd, 2021 have been released from detention after meeting their bail conditions.”
One of the agitators, Tajudeen Bakare is still in custody following a murder charge filed against him by the police.
Bakare was charged for the murder of Jumoke Oyeleke, a 25-year-old trader who was hit by a stray bullet when the police were dispersing the agitators during the rally. The police said Mr Bakare was in possession of a Beretta pistol and two live ammunition and “unlawfully killed” the trader.
The agitator was denied bail given the gravity of the charges levelled against him.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has ordered an investigation into the killing of a 14-year-old girl in Ojota during the Oodua Republic Mega Rally on Saturday.
Recall a young girl was found dead at the scene of the rally at Ojota with claims that she was killed by a stray bullet, a claim that was denied by the state police command who said the corpse was not fresh and appeared to have a wound sustained from a sharp object.
In a statement released on Sunday by Moyosore Onigbanjo, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Sanwo-Olu commiserated with the deceased’s family and ordered a thorough investigation into the death.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the death of a 14-year-old girl in Ojota during the Oodua Republic Mega Rally on Saturday, 3rd of July, 2021.
“We commiserate with the family of the deceased. The Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered a thorough investigation of the death. A Coroner’s Inquest has immediately been requested in line with sections 14 and 15 of the Coroners’ Systems Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015, to determine the cause and circumstances of death.
By Section 14(1) (d) of the Coroners’ System Law of the State: ‘A report of death shall be made to any of the agencies for the report of death or the office of the Coroner and be subject to post-mortem examination where there is reasonable cause to believe that the cause of death was: violent, unnatural or suspicious.’
Section 15(1) and (9) further enjoins the Coroner to hold an inquest whenever he or she is informed that the death of the deceased person was in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation or believes an inquest is desirable following the report of a reportable death.
“As a government, the security and well-being of citizens are of utmost importance to us. The state assures the public that everything will be done to ensure that the cause of death is known. The findings of this investigation will be made public in due course and appropriate sanctions meted out to anyone found culpable.”
Despite the heavy presence of armed policemen and soldiers, the agitators numbering over 100 who besieged the surroundings of the park, chanted solidarity songs, waved ‘Oduduwa nation’ flags and banners.
Security operatives had very early in the day cordoned off parts of Lagos including Ikorodu, Ojota, Ajah, Abule Egba, Lekki, Agege, Ikeja, Maryland, Berger, Obalende, Yaba, Oshodi, Ogba and Lagos Island among other locations, leading to heavy traffic on major roads, but the agitators were undeterred.
Self-proclaimed activist and one of the vanguards of the Yoruba Nation agitation, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as ‘Sunday Igboho’ was not on hand to lead the protesters, but as time ticked by, the number of agitators who had been hanging around the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota grew. They sang unity songs as they huddled together.
“No going back,” “We want Oodua Nation,” were among the songs chanted repeatedly, as the protesters asked the Federal Government to stop “persecuting” Sunday ‘Igboho.’ Some fliers displayed were captioned, ‘Leave Igboho alone,’ ‘Igboho is not the problem, arrest terrorists and bandits.’ The proponents, who also had banners, t-shirts, face caps and other promotional items bearing inscriptions demanding Southwest’s exit, said they were tired of Nigeria and urged authorities to approve the exit of the Yoruba.
It added: “An injury to one, is an injury to all and by similitude, an injury to our hero, is an injury to us all. Ibarapa Youths unite with Igboho to declare that we are now, more than ever before, resolutely committed to the worthy resolution of enthroning an era of self-redefinition, ethnic equality, justice and Fairplay by resisting all the enslavement agenda and ruthless acts of bigotry being openly enforced by the government of the day on those it figures as second and third-class citizens of this country.”
The agitators also expressed their displeasure over the activities of killer herders in southwest. They also displayed placards like “Yoruba Nation Now”, “Oduduwa Nation now, No going back”.
The Nation had previously reported there was tension at the surroundings of Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota when the Pro-Yoruba Nation agitators stormed the venue.
The police had earlier sealed off the park, before the 9:00a.m. scheduled starting time for the rally.
Following the tension that ensued at the Ojota venue of the Yoruba Nation rally, security operatives on Saturday afternoon restored normalcy to the area.
They also demanded an independent state for the southwest region.
The police action came shortly after the Lagos Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu addressed journalists at the park saying the security operatives were there to ensure there was no “security breach” in the state.
He said the Yoruba nation letter about the protest received by the command was “open-ended.”
“We are not saying you should not protests, we want you to send a detailed letter to the police stating the number and identities of the protesters. Also, the location should be in the letter,” he said.
The Ilana Omo Oodua, IOO, on Saturday, slammed the Nigeria Police, Lagos Command, over the death of a yet-to-be identified Soft Drinks Seller at the venue of the Yoruba Nation’s Rally held at Ojota, in Lagos, insisting that it will not back down in its struggle.
The group, however, hailed thousands of the Yoruba people who defied the Police Intimidation and harrasment to show solidarity with the agitation for Self-Determination, saying “the struggle continues.”
The group is headed by a Renowned Historian and Second Republic Member of the Nigerian Senate, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye.
The crowd, led by some women and the General-Secretary and Legal Adviser of the Group, Messrs. George Akinola and Olasupo Ojo respectively, were dispersed by security agencies including the Nigerian Police, Army, DSS and Civil Defense Corps with teargas and live bullets despite being peaceful and orderly.
The IOO’s Media Communications Secretary, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, in a statement said: “That the rally took place with thousands of participants despite Police Harrasment symbolises that the Yoruba People are not cowards.
We want to inform the whole world that a stray bullet fired by Officers of the Nigerian Police killed a yet-to-be identified Soft Drinks Seller at Ojota, the venue of the Yoruba Nation Rally held today Saturday July 3rd, 2021.
Aside from traders, youths, and women, traditionalists, dressed in white wrappers and costumes, also joined the protesters in the demand for a sovereign Yoruba state.
The Police, however, sprayed water cannon and fired teargas on the protesters to disperse them. This was as some of the protesters were arrested and kept in waiting for Black Maria till they were moved to the command headquarters.
MEANWHILE, a 14-year-old girl named Jumoke, who was recently employed as a salesgirl in a makeshift shop close to the rally venue, was allegedly killed by a stray bullet while preparing for the day.
When The Guardian visited the scene, blood was still fresh at the scene and covers of yoghourt bottles littered the floor.
A man in his 50s, who does not want his name in print, said: “Jumoke was loading yoghourt inside the freezer before she was hit by the bullet on the rib. She started working here two weeks ago. Her body was moved away by the police when this place became crowded.
We learnt that the police claimed she died two days ago, but see the blood on the floor still fresh. Jumoke was killed by the police.”
Some other residents claimed a stray bullet from some police officers chasing some protesters hit the girl.
The Lagos State Police Command has, however, debunked involvement in the killing of the girl.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the Command did not fire a live bullets at the Ojota rally and that the corpse of the girl was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS Filling Station, inward Maryland with dried blood stains suggesting that the corpse is not fresh.
After a close look at the corpse, a wound suspected sustained from a sharp object was seen on it. The Command hereby wishes to debunk the rumour and state categorically that it is a calculated attempt to create confusion and fears in the minds of good people of Lagos State and the country at large.”
He added that the news was false and mischievous, urging the public to disregard the news and go about daily activities while investigation to unravel the incident will commence immediately.
He said that the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, therefore commiserates with the family of the deceased and assured that a thorough investigation will be carried out.
REACTING to a police show of force, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), a group headed by renowned Historian and senator in the Second Republic, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye said it salutes Yoruba women who led the rally from the front, adding that, “the struggle continues.”
The group’s Media Communications Secretary, Maxwell Adeleye, said given that the rally took place with thousands of participants despite police harassment symbolises that the Yoruba People are not cowards.
“IOO salutes to the women who led the rally from the front and appreciates the gentlemen of the media who trooped out to cover the rally despite all inconveniences. We have held our rally, notwithstanding the attempts to ensure we do not come to Lagos. That the people came out in thousands is an indication that the Yoruba People are not cowards.