- The Alaafin of Oyo is in trouble for alleged criminalities and has been dragged before the International Criminal Court
- In 2014, the inspector general of police was asked to investigate the Alaafin but he ignored the order
- One of the allegations against the Alaafin is that he planned to bomb Oloja’s palace and Isale Oyo praying ground during the 2009 Eid Kabir festival day included
The International Criminal Court (ICC), the Hague, has acknowledged a petition against the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi over alleged criminalities relating to murder, bomb planting and human rights abuse.
The petition titled: “Unprecedented criminality, flagrant human rights violations, bomb planting, gun running and unresolved assassinations in Oyo town, Oyo state” was delivered to the ICC on September 9, 2015.
We exclusively obtained copies of both the petition and ICC's letter, dated February 2, 2016, acknowledging receipt of the petition.
The ICC reply came just over a week after President Muhammadu Buhari received similar petition against Oba Adeyemi.
Earlier on December 15, 2014, Justice Ayo Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, granted an order of mandamus brought before it by Jacob Oluokun and Sulaiman Ishola to compel the Inspector General of Police to investigate the criminal allegations, against Oba Adeyemi.
But since the order was given, the Nigerian Police have continued to disregard the directive even after the IGP, Solomon Arase, was threatened with jail term for contempt of court.
“Successive IGPs have refused to obey the order (to investigate the Alaafin) even after two letters of reminder on January 5 and 21,” the petitioners’ counsel, Abiodun Abdur-Raheem said.
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We obtained a copy of Form 48 – “Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court” – served on the Inspector General of Police on June 16, 2015.
“You will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison” in the event of failure to investigate the Alaafin, the Ibadan High Court warned the police chief, Arase.
“Yet, there has not been Police action despite preponderance of facts and evidence which made the court to compel the Police to investigate the monarch in the first place,” Abdur-Raheem lamented.
According to him, the petition to the ICC was "in a bid to further press for justice.
"We write as concerned indigenes and residents of the ancient Oyo town, Oyo State, who are disturbed by the wanton murder of innocent citizens and the traumatisation of the indigenes by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, through his goons, the acts of which have remained unchecked and un-investigated by the Nigerian State in spite of all known legal processes to cause the State to do so,” Messrs. Oluokun and Ishola wrote in the petition to The Hague, dated September 9, 2015.
“So if Oba Adeyemi 111 is too big for Nigeria state to be investigated and brought to book, the ICC is our last hope to stymie the criminal tendencies of his and restore the hope that nobody is above the law.”
In its letter signed by Head of the Information & Evidence Unit, Office of the Prosecutor, M.P. Dillon, ICC said: "The Office is analyzing the situation identified in your communication, with the assistance of other related communications and other available information. Under Article 53 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor must consider whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed, the gravity of the crimes, whether national systems are investigating and prosecuting the relevant crimes, and the interests of justice.
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"As soon as a decision is taken on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, we will advise you promptly and we will provide reasons for the decision."
Among others, one of the annexures to the petitions to President Buhari and the ICC was a letter from the Oyo State Commissioner of Police to the Oyo Area Command dated September 19, 2009.
In the letter, the Commissioner directed his subordinate, that is the Area Commander, to “please arrest the situation before it is too late because the Alaafin intends to bomb the ancient city of Oyo”.
According to the letter, some of the places the Alaafin was suspected to have planned to bomb during the 2009 Eid Kabir festival day included Oloja’s palace and Isale Oyo praying ground, Sabo; Bizin illahi Estate; and Unique Hotel where Elepe Iseke lived.
Accordingly, the suspected move of the Alaafin was “revealed by top members of the Tobalase group owned by the Alaafin of Oyo”.
Of the said Tobalse group, a report by the State Security Services, claimed the group was founded by the Al;aafin “originally to oust the Baale Ago Oja, hence the location of their base contiguous to both Ashipa’s residence and the market of Isale-Oyo”.
“The group has included in their activities harassment and intimidation of perceived enemies of the monarch within the three (3) LGAs in Oyo,” the report added.
The SSS report also mentioned murder cases of a chief Rashidi Adebayo Salami popularly called Atingisi (February 15, 2009) and that of a Medical Doctor, Ogunniyi (December, 2005) who was said to have been involved in a land dispute with his former lover and later, Alaafin’s wife, Yetunde Adeyemi.
The report alleged that the murders were carried out by the Tobalase group, allegedly founded by Mr. Adeyemi.
READ ALSO: See What Alaafin Of Oyo Was Spotted Doing
Meanwhile, the head of the Tobalase group, Mojeed Agbaje, now estranged from the Alaafin, has said in video clip circulated in compact disc and available on YouTube, that the Oyo monarch indeed instructed him to carry out nefarious activities, including murder.
On March 14, 2014, Mr. Agbaje deposed to an affidavit at the High Court of Oyo State, sitting in Ibadan, “confirming the contents of the video CD.”
He swore “that the video CD made in Yoruba contains highlight of the various activities I engaged in during my service to the Alaafin of Oyo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111.”