Contrary to claims by Attorney General Abubakar Malami that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) burnt the palace of the Oba of Lagos, the 15 suspects charged with the crime are of Yoruba origin, court documents seen by Peoples Gazette show.
Mr Malami on Friday blamed IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu for instigating the outlawed group and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), for the attacks in Lagos and other parts of the country during #EndSARS protest.
Specifically, the AGF alleged that Mr Kanu who is currently being tried by the Buhari regime used the anti-police brutality protest that was held in October 2020 as a cover to attack and loot the Oba’s palace.
However, court documents with the charge number CR/MISC/ES/L/002020 seen by The Gazette revealed that all the suspects charged by the Nigerian Police are Yorubas.
In the aftermath of the attack on the Lagos monarch’s palace, the police brought 15 suspects before a Lagos State Magistrate Court sitting at Ogba, in the Ikeja magisterial district, with charges bordering on theft and felony.
The defendants are Messrs Eniafe Olawale, Gbenga Ajayi, Lamidi Rafiu, Oladunmoye Ayodeji, Soliu Tajudeen, Ahmed Olayinka, Samuel Damilola, Wasiu Grewa, Habib Salit, Nurudeen Yusuf, Safiu Quadri Lekan, Afolabi lukuman and Yusuf Babalola with charges bordering on theft and felony.
Before Mr Malami’s allegations on Friday, IPOB had been accused of inflicting destruction across the South-East. Government facilities, especially schools, police stations, prisons and electoral office buildings, have been destroyed by elements widely believed to be IPOB as the group seeks to enforce a sit-at-home order in the region.
There were also criminal arsons around the region blamed on IPOB during #EndSARS, but the widespread destruction witnessed in Lagos, Abuja and other cities outside the South-East were caused by locals in those cities.
The suspects that burnt the Oba of Lagos residence were captured on videos that spread on social media, with some narrators easily recognising the suspects as Yoruba living in neighbourhoods around Lagos Island.
IPOB is an Igbo organisation whose operations have been restricted to the South-East region. Yorubas in the South-West are not known to belong to the secessionist group seeking an independent Biafra nation.