The umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), has disclosed that the legal battle to secure release of detained Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Ighoho, and his 12 aides were solely funded by Pan Yoruba Socio-cultural, self-determination groups and some individuals in Nigeria and abroad.
IOO said that the funds been expended on legal cases and other logistics in Nigeria specially in Abuja and Republic of Benin to ensure Sunday Igboho and the 12 aides detained by the Directorate of State Services (DSS) were coordinated by the groups apex leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye.
The group made the disclosure on Sunday while reacting to claims that Sunday Igboho and his aides have been abandoned by other agitators after he was arrested by the law enforcement agency in Republic of Benin en route Germany with his wife, Ropo, last month.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Akintoye urged Nigerians particularly Yorubas in the country and abroad to disregard information making the rounds that the agitators under detention have been abandoned by others following continued adjournment by courts.
According to him, socio-cultural and self-determination groups within and beyond the shores of Nigeria under my supervision paid for every dime spent in Cotonou, Lagos, and Abuja respectively till date on the court cases.
“The only court case not under my co-ordination and supervision, and which the Yoruba socio-cultural and self-determination Groups are not paying for is the one in Ibadan High Court, Oyo State.
“The Lawyer handling the Ibadan case, Chief Yomi Aliyu, said we should leave it to him, and that we should not bother on the funding, but the Yoruba Groups and Patriots under my supervision are completely responsible for the funding of the court cases in Abuja, Lagos, and Cotonou”, he added.
The apex leader, in a statement by the group’s Communications manager, Maxwell Adeleye, denied reports that he has flee from Nigeria to escape plots by the Federal Government to arrest him.
Akintoye, who confirmed that he was truly in the Republic of Benin, explained that it was not that he wan away but was in the Francophone country to coordinate and supervise how to legally rescue the detained Yoruba Nation agitator.
The Don, a member of the Nigerian Senate in the Second Republic, said just like Sunday Ighoho, he has committed no offense against the Nigerian Laws to warrant being arrested, intimidated, or harassed.
Like a valiant soldier, Akintoye vowed to return to Nigeria as soon as Ighoho is released by the government of Benin Republic to continue the struggle for the actualisation of Yoruba Nation, saying “it is No Retreat, No Surrender”.
“Myself, the President-General and Professor Wale Adeniran (Chairman) of Ilana Omo Oodua, are currently in the Republic of Benin as reported, but not on the run.
“We are here to supervise and coordinate, by all legal and other means, the struggle for the release of our son and patriot, Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, detained by the Government from custody.
“By demanding peaceful self-determination for the Yoruba Nation, I am not breaking any law, since self-determination is recognized by the International and Nigerian laws to be an inalienable right of every Nationality, large or small, in the world.
“I have earned a solid reputation as a highly respected advocate of a peaceful self-determination struggle. I have even written a book on the subject which is already being used as a manual by Yoruba self-determination advocates and organizations.
“Irrespective of what the Nigerian Government may be planning against me, I want to say without any fear or intimidation that I will be returning to Nigeria immediately Ighoho is released from custody. I can’t be intimidated because I’ve not committed any offense, just like Sunday Igboho.
“Let me tell all Yoruba People across the world that there’s no cause for alarm. I didn’t flee to anywhere. I am in Benin Republic running your errands. The struggle is no retreat, no surrender.