- Afenifere has gone to court over Ile-Ife crisis
- The group had accused police of bias in handling the case
-The police arrested 21 people in connection with the crisis
The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere on Tuesday April 11 filed an application at the Federal High Court, Abuja, over the 21 people arrested by the Nigeria Police in connection with the crisis between some indigenous Ife people and Hausa-Fulani settlers in Ile-Ife, Osun state, and requested for N1 billion damages.
Nigerian Tribune reports that Afenifere, in the suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/S/3/2017 with a 10-paragraph declaration in the originating summon, said: “The sum N1, 000,000,000 damages for the unlawful and unconstitutional arrest and detention of the applicants individually and collectively; for the psychological and emotional trauma that their families are being subjected to for almost one months and for the unlawfully parading them as common criminals without filing any charge against them talk less of trial or conviction.”
NAIJ.com gathered that it also prayed the court to declare their arrests as illegal and unconstitutional, adding that their arrest was “an unlawful violation of the applicants constitutionally guaranteed and protected right to dignity of human person and presumption of innocence under sections 34 and 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) for the respondents, either by themselves or through their agents, officers, howsoever described, to parade the applicants as common criminals to both print and electronic media houses, when they have not been charged to court and convicted of any criminal offence.
NAIJ.com previously reported that Afenifere accused the police of taking side in handling the case.
Recall that the Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin, in a statement issued on March 28, condemned the parade and trial of the suspects in Abuja, insisting that they should be brought to Osun for trial.
He said Afenifere condemned the actions of the police, especially the arrest of only Yoruba and accused the police of bias and sectionalism in the way it handled the matter based on the order from above.
Odumakin said: “Afenifere becomes worried with the way the police handled the Ife crisis, especially considering the fact that the leadership of the presidency and that of the police are from one of the sections involved in the crisis.
“The police intimidated, harassed and embarrassed the Yoruba people of Ile-Ife. They arrested some Yoruba people in the town and even pronounced them guilty without any trial. “Up till now, the suspects are not arraigned, neither were they tried, yet the police pronounced them guilty.”
He added: “The police remain a federal institution which is for all Nigerians regardless of tribe or ethnic affiliation. The police should not be seen as an institution for a particular ethnic group, as we are being made to understand through their actions now.
Watch this NAIJ.com video to know the truth about Ile-Ife Hausa/Yoruba crisis: