Pelumi Olajengbesi, counsel for the 12 aides of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, detained by the Department of State Services has lamented the “sorry situation” of his clients in the custody of the secret police.
According to the lawyer who said he was at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Friday [today] after over four weeks of not being allowed to meet with his clients, the DSS feeds his clients with a soup known as “engine oil”.
Olajengbesi said the detained persons had diarrhoea after eating the soup with Fufu or Eba.
Efforts to get the reaction of DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, on the lawyer’s allegation proved abortive as he neither took calls put across to his line by our correspondent nor replied to a text message sent to his phone as of the time of filing this report.
In an update sent to our correspondent on Friday, Olajengbesi said that he and two other members of the legal team met with four of the 12 detained persons today.
He said, “It is important to state that their current situation is a classical definition of wholesome human rights abuse. Their health is, sadly, poor and in a sorry situation.
“They are made to sleep on the bare floor and are badly beaten before medical treatment is accorded them to heal and conceal injuries from the torture.
“Lady K, in particular, seems to have sustained fracture on her left leg and is in serious pains. She has not had a change of clothes and folds herself to sleep in the terrible cell.
“A larger per cent of them have high blood pressure issues as confirmed by the SSS clinic. They are fed with a liquid they call ‘engine oil’ as their soup for their food. Their normal routine is to eat and resume the toilet where they purge for long.
“They’re being treated badly and worse than animals, and we did our best in assuring and keeping them upbeat and in high spirits before making our exit.”
This online platform had earlier reported that the 12 persons were arrested on July 1, 2021 during a midnight raid on the Ibadan residence of Igboho. The secret Police had said its operatives killed two other associates of Igboho in a “gun duel” during the raid.
The detained persons, through their lawyers, subsequently approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to demand their release.
The court had, on Thursday, adjourned the suit till Monday because the DSS failed to produce the detained persons as ordered by the court.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu had ordered that the DSS should grant the lawyers to the detained aides access to their clients.
The counsel to the DSS, I. Awo, however, informed the court that the DSS had no intention of disobeying the court’s order. Awo said some of the names on the court order were different from the names of the persons they had arrested at Igboho’s house.
In his update, Olajengbesi said, “On the issue of the discrepancies in the names, it was confirmed that there was an error from both sides as to the correctness of their name. We, therefore, agreed to adopt same as reflected on the DSS’ processes and we have concluded plans to file a motion for amendment of our processes in order to avoid any unnecessary legal debate that may further prolong the matter.”
After its midnight raid on July 1, 2020, the DSS had declared Igboho wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms to detabilise Nigeria under the pretext of Yoruba Nation but the agitator denied the allegations. He later escaped to Benin Republic where he was arrested at an airport in Cotonou on July 19, 2021.
Igboho, who was arrested while trying to catch a flight to Germany, is currently remanded in a detention facility in Cotonou pending a court ruling after the conclusion of investigation.
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