SUNDAY Igboho and Professor Banji Akintoye have teamed up with 49 other Yoruba self determination groups to file a 27-page petition against President Muhammadu Buhari before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Of late, ethnic tensions have risen across Nigeria with the various component parts of the country agitating to secede from the federation. President Buhari’s government has been accused of neglecting the murderous activities of heavily-armed Fulani cattle herdsmen terrorising the country and this has fuelled the secessionist agitation.
Across southeast Nigeria, there have been growing calls for the creation of the Biafra Republic, while in the southwest, demands for the creation of a Yoruba Nation have grown lately. Professor Banji Akintoye, the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, a pan-Yoruba organisation, activist, Yoruba Nation Agitator Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho and other 49 Yoruba groups have decided to take matters further by going to the ICC.
Their petition was submitted to the ICC by international lawyer, Aderemilekun Omojola, in which some Nigerian leaders were accused of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Yoruba people of Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun states and in Okunland in Kogi and Kwara States. Those dragged before the ICC include President Buhari, justice minister Abubakar Malami, former chief of army staff Lt General Tukur Buratai and former inspectors-general of police Ibrahim Idris and Muhammed Adamu.
Others mentioned in the petition include the comptroller-general of Customs Hammid Alli, inspector-general of police Alkali Baba and chief of army staff Farouk Yahaya. Also included are former chief of air staff Sadiq Abubakar, former commandant-general of the NSCDC Ahmed Abubakar Audi, the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Immigration Services Mohammed Babandede and the current commandant-general of the NSCDC Abdulahi Gana Muhammadu.
Their 27-page petition accused President Buhari and others of genocidal offences such as killing members of the petitioners groups, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the groups and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part. Already, the ICC has formally acknowledged receipt of the petition.
Spokesman Maxwell Adeleye, said that those who signed the petition along with Professor Akintoye and Mr Igboho include the chief imam of Yorubas in Ilorin Shiekh Raheem Aduranigba, the leader of Obinrin Oodua Agbaye Chief Simisade Kuku, the leader of Yoruba Strategy Alliance Babatunde Omololu and the general secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua George Akinola. Mark Dilon, the head of information and evidence unit in the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, said the petition will be looked at.
Mr Dilon added: “As soon as a decision is reached to formally commence investigation into this petition, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision. This communication has been duly entered in the communications register of the office, so we will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”