*Afenifere has taken Ile-Ife crisis to court and asking for
₦1,000,000,000 damages

*The group questions the police integrity in the treatment of
the case after arresting 21 people
Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group had on
Tuesday, April 11 launched a lawsuit against the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) at
the Federal High Court, Abuja, over the detention of 21 suspects in connection
with the occurrence of ethnic crisis in Ile-Ife, requesting for ₦1 billion
Ife crisis: Afenifere accuses Police of sectionalism, demands N1bn damages from Federal Government
Ile-Ife Crisis’ suspects paraded by police

The crisis was between some native of Ife, Osun State and Hausa-Fulani
settlers within the town.
According to Nigerian Tribune, In the suit no:
FHC/ABJ/CS/S/3/2017 with a 10-paragraph affirmation in the originating summon, Afenifere
stated that: “The sum 1, 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.”
Tellforceblog got some information that it also prayed the
court to pronounce their detentions as unlawful and unconstitutional, further
stating 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.”
Recall that Afenifere had earlier complained and alleged the
police has been taking side in handling the case.
The Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin, had
earlier issued a statement on March 28, 2017, condemning the parade by the
police and trial of the suspects in Abuja, contending that they should be
brought back to Osun State for hearing.
Odumakin said Afenifere condemned the arrangements of the
police, specifically the arrest of only Yoruba people, leaving the other tribes
involved in the crisis and accused the police of being biased and sectionalism
in the manner it handled the issue based on the directive from above.
He 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.

“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.”


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