Lack of interpreter stalls arraignment of Sunday Igboho’s associates
The trial of two associates of Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, on alleged terrorism charges suffered a setback at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The two defendants – Jamiu Oyetunji and Amudat Babatunde – were scheduled for arraignment on Monday, but the proceedings coild not proceed because of lack of a Yoruba interpreter.
This forced Obiora Egwuatu, the trial judge, to adjourn the arraignment of the duo till January 24, 2022.
Mr Adeyemo, a Yoruba nation sessionist, is being held in Cotonou, Benin Republic, following the Nigerian government’s efforts to get him extradited to the country for his secessionist activities.
Mr Oyetunji and Ms Babatunde were arrested along with 10 others during a raid by State Security Service (SSS) operatives on Mr Adeyemo’s home in Ibadan, Oyo State, on July 1.
Initially, all the 12 aides of Mr Adeyemo were illegally detained without charge for 61 days, in defiance of a court order granting them bail. Eight of them were later released on August 29.
SSS, a government’s secret police service, notorious for little regard for court orders, subsequently released two others – Tajudeen Oyinloye and Uthman Adelabu – on September 3.
Instead of releasing Mr Oyetunji and Ms Babatunde, the security agency, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, on September 1, filed five counts of terrorism-related charges against them.
At Monday’s proceedings, defendants’ lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbensi, informed the court his clients did not understand English language.ⓘ
According to the fresh charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/305/2021, the 1st defendant, Mr Oyetunji, was in possession of firearms for terrorism-related activities.
While it accused the 2nd defendant, Ms Babatunde, of helping to promote acts of terrorism through her Facebook handle.
The charges read in part, “That you Jamiu Noah Oyetunji, Amudat Habibat Babatunade, adults, with others still at large, on or about the 1st day of July, 2021, at the residence of one Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), located at Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire to commit acts of terrorism, to wits possession of prohibited fire arms: contrary to Section 17 of Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013 and punishable under the same Section of the Act.
“That you Jamiu Noah Oyetunji, Amudat Habibat Babatunade, adults with others still at large, on or about the 1st day of July, 2021, at the residence of Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) located at Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did had in your possession, without lawful authority, the under listed prohibited fire arms:
“Five (5) AK 47 rifles with serial numbers 04956, 213740, 8673, 945999 and 6139 respectively,Two (2) AK 47 rifles which serial numbers could not be identified; Two (2) pump action rifle with serial numbers 8836 and 9398 respectively; One (1) pump action which serial number could not be identified; and One (1) stun gun.
“Contrary to Section 1(3)(c)(v) of the Terrorism Prevention Act CAP 10, 2011 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) act 2013.”
The duo were in count three of the charge, alleged to have had in their possession, without lawful authority, 1,295 live rounds of 7.62mm ammunitions and 221 live rounds of 5.56mm ammunitions, contrary to Section 1(3)(c)(v) of the Terrorism Prevention Act CAP 10, 2011 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act 2013.
The SSS released Mr Yetunji and Ms Babatunde after they spent 114 days in detention.(Premium Times)