Absence of Yoruba interpreter stalls arraignment of Igboho’s aides

THE arraignment of Jamiu Oyetunji and Amudat Babatunde, two aides of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, did not hold on Monday, November 22 due to the absence of an interpreter at the Federal High Court, Abuja. 

The Federal Government, through the Department of State Service (DSS) had filed a five-count terrorism charge against the two aides of Igboho before the court. 

Though the two defendants who are on bail were in court when the matter was called on Monday, their counsel, Pelumi Olajengbensi, informed the court that his clients do not understand English, and would need a Yoruba interpreter. 

The court efforts to get a Yoruba interpreter was unsuccessful, a situation that forced the trial Judge, Justice Obiorah Egwuatu, to adjourn till January 24, 2022 for arraignment. 

The charge dated August 31, 2021 was filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by S.M Bello, counsel for the claimant. 

By the charge dated August 31, 2021 and marked FHC/ABJ/CR/305/2021, the Federal Government claims that the defendants were involved in terrorism acts and for being in possession of prohibited firearms. 

The charge reads in part, “That you Jamiu Oyetunji and Amudat Babatunde, with others still at large, on or about July 1, at the residence of one Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), located at Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire to commit acts of terrorism. 

“That you with others still at large, at the residence of Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo have in your possession, without lawful authority, the under listed prohibited fire arms: Five AK-47 rifles with serial numbers 04956, 213740, 8673, 945999 and 6139 respectively; two AK47 rifles which serial numbers could not be identified; two pump action rifles with serial numbers 8836 and 9398 respectively; one pump action which serial number could not be identified; and one stun gun.” 

The Federal Government stated that the offence was contrary to Section 1(3)(c) (v) of the Terrorism Prevention Act CAP 10, 2011 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) act 2013. They were also accused of using their Facebook accounts as platforms to promote terrorist activities contrary to Section 18(1 & 2) of the Cybercrimes Prohibition Prevention Act, 2015.

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