The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has constituted a legal team to defend 21 Ile-Ife indigenes arrested in connection with the recent clash between the Hausa and Yoruba in the historical town.
This was announced in a press statement signed by Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the group’s National Publicity Secretary.
Afenifere described the arrest and eventual parade of the 21 persons by the Police as illegal, unconstitutional and sectionally-biased.
The group vowed to resist the undue deployment of federal might to settle ethnic scores.
“As a first step in this regard, we have assembled a powerful team of lawyers to enforce the fundamental human rights of the 21 abducted Yoruba persons. It is a settled law that the investigation and trial of suspects must take place at the scene of the crime,” said the group.
While appealing to the Yoruba in Ife to remain calm, the group assured that legal team will challenge the mangling of due process and continue mounting political pressure to resist the decision to have the members of only one side in the conflict arrested and put on trial.
“We restate the fact that the Arewa group started the killings in Ife by killing a Yoruba young man. This is clearly missing in the skewed report by the police. We are appreciative of the many lawyers of Yoruba extraction who have taken up this challenge pro bono,” Afenifere added.
We appeal to our people to be calm while we pursue the legal angle to this challenge to our pride as a people as the first step.