Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has raised alarm and expressed shock at the decision of the police not to charge a Hausa cart pusher who allegedly triggered last month’s crisis in Shasha, Ibadan, Oyo State, with the murder of a cobbler, Mr Adeola Shakirudeen.
The group noted that the police on Thursday charged seven persons, all Yoruba, to a magistrates’ court in Ibadan for the murder of the said Adeola Shakirudeen whose death led to the mayhem.
Afenifere, in a statement issued on Friday by its spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said that it was shocking that the police did not charge to court the Hausa cart pusher widely known to have beaten up the Yoruba man leading to his death.
The pan-Yoruba group said it was unfortunate that instead of the police to be neutral in the case by doing the right thing, it had taken sides by charging only Yoruba people to court in a matter that was globally known to be a clash between Hausa and Yoruba in Shasha in Ibadan.
It wondered how the police thought the world “would trust it when it charged Yoruba people for killing Yoruba persons and for burning Yoruba properties.
“Where is the Hausa cart pusher whose criminal behaviour precipitated the crisis? Even the Hausas themselves know that the man caused the crisis by assaulting the Yoruba cobbler who later died.
“This is a tragic throwback to three years ago when only indigenous Ile Ife people were arrested when they clashed with Hausa people in the ancient city.
“So, the question to ask the Nigeria justice system is if the crisis was a Yoruba versus Yoruba matter, where then is the case of the Hausa Fulani who have accused the Yoruba of attacking them for which the Federal Government has allegedly agreed to compensate them with billions of Naira?
“We demand a halt to this selective justice that can only provoke more injustices,” Afenifere warned.
Those taken to court on Friday by the police are Tajudeen Oladunni, 50; Saburi Lawal, 37; Ojo Joshua, 25; Adekunle Olanrewaju, 38; Olagunju James, 24; Rasaq Yahya, 32 and Olaide Olawuyi, 20 with six counts bordering on conspiracy, arson and murder. The prosecution counsel, Foluke Oladosu, told the court that the suspects conspired with others at large to commit the offences.
Ms Oladosu said that on February 12, 2021 at about 10.00a.m. at Shasha market, Ibadan, the suspects caused the death of Adeola Shakirudeen, when they beat him up. The police also alleged that the suspects caused the death of 31 others.
The prosecution also alleged that the suspects burnt two houses belonging to Adelabu Ibrahim and caused damage worth N50 million. The police alleged further that the suspects also burnt down a house belonging to Osuolale Akindele and destroyed property worth N20 million.
The offences, the police said, contravened the provisions of sections 6, and 316 and punishable under sections 443 and 319 and 516 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol.II, Laws of Oyo State 2000. The trial magistrate, I. O. Osho, who did not take the plea of the suspects for want of jurisdiction, ordered the police to return the case file to the Office of the Oyo State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.
Ms Osho adjourned the matter till May 11, 2021 for mention.