The PUNCH reports that some two weeks after they were killed by operatives of the Department of State Services during a bloody raid on the Ibadan residence of Yoruba Nation activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, the whereabouts of the corpses of two of his associates remain unknown.
The DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, at a press briefing at the secret police’s headquarters in Abuja on July 1, 2021, disclosed that its operatives “gunned down” two of Igboho’s associates.
However, Afunanya did not respond to enquiries by The PUNCH on Wednesday seeking to know whether the DSS took the corpses away and why it had not released the dead bodies to the inconsolable families of the deceased for burial – if indeed it took the corpses away.
“In the course of the exchange, two Igboho’s armed men were gunned down, while the rest were subdued and arrested,” the DSS spokesman had said while parading 13 of the activist’s associates in Abuja two weeks ago.
The two slain persons were later identified by Igboho’s media aide, Olayomi Koiki, as Adogan and Alfa. Adogan, whose real name was Saheed Adisa, was one of the right-hand men of Igboho, while Alfa was the activist’s maternal uncle, who was said to be visiting when the house was raided.
Residents of Soka area in Ibadan, where Igboho’s house is located, will not forget the night of July 1 in a hurry as sounds of jackboots on the ground interrupted their peaceful sleep around 1am before gunshots ushered them into the new month.
The country woke up to reports that “unknown gunmen” had attacked the activist’s residence, but the DSS, at a press briefing later that day, said a joint team of security operatives had “raided” Igboho’s residence in the early hours of that Thursday, based on an intelligence report that he was allegedly stockpiling arms, which the Yoruba Nation agitator has since denied, saying he defends himself with charms and not guns.
Though Igboho, a spearhead of the separatist agitation for the Yoruba Nation, escaped the Gestapo raid, his house and cars were riddled with bullets, while bloodstains splattered the floor of the house. The activist has since gone into hiding and switched off his mobile phones after he was declared wanted by the secret police.
Gory images and videos of the house after the DSS raid sighted by our correspondent showed that people were dragged outside from the house in the pool of their own blood.
The umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, had alleged that the DSS operatives shot Adogan 48 times before they butchered him, while Alfa was shot while observing the Muslim prayer.
Mourners have been visiting the Osogbo, Osun State country home of Adogan, who is survived by an aged mother, wife, three children and siblings.
Though the bereaved family declined comments on whether the remains of their beloved son, brother and father had been released for burial, a top source familiar with the matter told The PUNCH that Adogan’s corpse had not been released.
Igboho’s media aide, Olayomi Koiki, also told our correspondent that the corpses of Adogan and Alfa had yet to be released.
However, one of the lawyers handling the matter, Pelumi Olajengbesi, told The PUNCH on Wednesday that the corpses had been demanded from the DSS.
“We have demanded their corpses from the DSS, but they refused to respond,” he stated.
Olajengbesi also said the secret police refused to grant him and the other lawyers on the case access to the 13 suspects in the DSS custody.
When asked whether he had been able to speak with his clients, the lawyer said, “They (DSS) declined; they said it is a treasonable felony matter and they can’t allow us to see them.
“They refused to release them but we are likely going to address a press conference tomorrow (Thursday) or next tomorrow (Friday).”
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, said that the attitude of the DSS in this case epitomised the disdain with which the government and some of its agencies treat the Nigerian public.
He condemned the bloody raid and demanded the release of the detained persons and the corpses.
Ajayi said, “They carried out such damage including the taking of lives of two people there without giving the public reasonable explanation up till now.
“Words are yet to be given as to the whereabouts of their corpses and the whereabouts of the 13 people who were abducted during the raid at Igboho’s house in Soka area of Ibadan. Such a thing is happening because the powerful in the country, led by the government, get away with abuses of the people. The level of impunity is virtually everywhere.
“Unfortunately, there is no indication yet that it is about to end. However, it must be realised that our society cannot progress nor the condition of our people improve until an end is put to such impunity.
“There is the urgent need to call on the DSS to release the corpses and those arrested on July 1. Beyond that, there is the need to keep prevailing on them to always follow the rules of law in their dealings with members of the public.”
Activist Joe Okei-Odumakin, who had earlier condemned the DSS raid, told The PUNCH that the DSS owed the public an explanation.
“Since the DSS itself publicly admitted to have killed the 2 persons, it owes the public some convincing explanations about the whereabouts of the corpses and why the bodies are still being held and denied proper burial by their relations. It can be rationalised as having the power to kill and also to deny the killed going to heaven,” she told our correspondent.
The DSS spokesman did not take calls put across to his line and did not respond to a text message seeking clarity on the matter.