Outrage as FG links Igboho with Boko Haram

October 23, 2021
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THE Federal Government on Friday accused 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, disclosed that there were financial transactions between Igboho’s company and someone who has been convicted of financing Boko Haram. 

His allegation drew immediate reactions from Igboho and several groups. Igboho’s lawyer, Chief Yomi Alliyu, SAN, in a prompt reaction, described the AGF’s allegation as a fruitless effort to paint his client as a terrorist. Malami, during the press conference 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’ was, however, silent on the identity of a federal lawmaker alleged to be one of the sponsors of Igboho. Malami said the report revealed that Igboho is the owner of a company, Adesun International Concept Limited, through which he received a sum of N127,145,000 from his financier between 22 October, 2013 and 28 September, 2020. 

\The minister told the press conference that a sum of N273,198,200 transaction outflows was recorded from Sunday Igboho’s account between 15 March, 2013 and 11 March, 2021. 

He said the report, which had been submitted go the Federal Government, found connections of financial transaction between Adesun International Concept Ltd and some construction companies, businesses, among others. 

He said investigations revealed that that Adesun International Concept Ltd, registered on 23 April, 2010, transferred N12,750,000 to Abbal Bako & Sons, which 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. 

But 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.” 

Also, Malami, during the press conference, said leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who, according to him, has been at the centre of a subversive campaign against the Nigerian state, was arrested o n 1 4 October, 2015 and charged to court for treasonable felony, among other crimes. 

The minister claimed that Kanu was granted bail by on 25 April, 2017 but he breached the bail conditions and fled abroad, from where he intensified his campaign, using online Radio Biafra to instigate violence and incite members of IPOB to commit violent attacks against civil and democratic institutions, particularly security personnel, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and civilians. 

As a result of these criminal activities, Malami said IPOB was proscribed and designated a terrorist ealizetion by a Federal High Court in Abuja in an order made on 20 September, 2017 and despite the proscription, Kanu continued the subversive campaign, instigating and inciting broadcasts to direct members of the IPOB to launch attacks on the government. 

The minister said: “The EndSARS protests of October 2020 played into the sinister plans of Nnamdi Kanu, whereby he seized the protests through subversive and inciting online broadcasts and actively commanded and directed attacks on security personnel and facilities. 

“As a result of these broadcasts, members of IPOB attacked and killed security personnel and burnt down police stations, correctional centres, INEC offices, bus terminals, the palace of the Oba of Lagos, banks, hospitals, shopping malls, vehicles, among others. 

“On 12th December, 2020, Eastern Security Network (ESN) was formed by Nnamdi Kanu as an armed wing of IPOB with the mandate to advance the nefarious agenda of the outlawed group.” 

According to Malami, the destructive activities of IPOB/ ESN pose serious threat to Nigeria’s national security and its corporate existence, which led to the re-arrest of Kanu and members of his group in June and followed by the inauguration of a 24-member presidential adhoc committee. He said between October 2020 and June 2021, 175 security personnel were killed by IPOB/ESN, aside from the murder of traditional leaders, Obi I of Okwudor autonomous c ommunity , Eze E . Anayochukwu Durueburuo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre autonomous community as well as Dr Chike Akunyili and eight others. 

“As a consequence of Nnamdi Kanu’s broadcasts, there were 19 attacks on INEC facilities that resulted in the destruction of offices as well as burning of 18 INEC logistical vehicles, several election materials, equipment and  ICT gadgets in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states, among other destructions by the group. 

He disclosed that 396 firearms and 17,738 ammunition were carted away during the IPOB/ESN attacks on the Nigerian Correctional Service, Owerri, Imo State, where 1,841 inmates escaped. “We have also established that Kanu is not alone in his subversive activities. He has accomplices in Nigeria and abroad, 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  m i s s i o n , i g n o r i n g t h e terrorist nature of his activities,” he said and called on the countries to desist from aiding subversive acts by Kanu and IPOB against Nigeria and its people. 

Kanu didn’t kill Akunyili, others –IPOB 

However, IPOB has debunked Malami’s allegations that its leader, Kanu, was the sponsor of the killing of Dr Chike Akunyili and numerous other people in the South East. 

According to the group, all destructions and killings in the zone were politically motivated and carried out by security agents recruited and dubbed unknown gunmen. IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, in a statement he released after the AGF’s press conference in Abuja, said “the so-called unknown gunmen were set up to implicate IPOB and ESN as IPOB and ESN have no hands in the killings in Biafraland.” 

Ohanaeze, PANDEF ask FG to face bandits, herdsmen 

Meanwhile, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has challenged the Federal Government to investigate and expose sponsors of terrorists across the North and killer-herdsmen across the South as it has “swiftly and painstakingly done” in the cases of Kanu and Ighoho. 

The apex socio-cultural group of the South-South said while Kanu and Ighoho are not the problems of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari’s “unhidden attitude of nepotism and bias” on national issues is the actual problem confronting the country. 

Reacting to the Friday press conference addressed by Malami detailing alleged destructive activities of Kanu and Ighoho as well as their sponsors, the National Publicity Secretar y of PANDEF, Mr Ken Robinson, told Saturday Tribune that Malami had never presented himself as the AttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice of the Federation but that of the Fulani caliphate.

Ohanaeze 

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide warned the Fedetral Government to avoid the deployment of any fighter jets in the South-East ahead of the governorship election in Anambra State to avoid the reopening of the experiences of the Biafra war. Ohanaeze gave the warning in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, after reviewing the details of the press conference addressed by AGF Malami on Friday. 

According to Ohanaeze, bandits that shot down military aircraft and shot at Abuja/Kaduna train are the real terrorists and should be declared as such before any deployment in the SouthEast. The group urged the Federal Government to give the IPOB leader, Kanu, a fair trial in court. 

South East youth group, COSEYL 

Similarly, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) called on AGF Malami to address the killings by Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists which it said are the real issues staring the country in the face. 

In a statement in Owerri, Imo State, on Friday by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, COSEYL said if the attention the Federal Government had paid to Kanu and Igboho was also paid to killer-herdsmen and terrorists, the issue of insecurity would have been a thing of the past in the country. 

Afenifere carpets Malami over claims on Igboho

Also, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, knocked the AGF for implying that Sunday Igboho was being sponsored for terrorism in Nigeria. 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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