Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Igboho: Unjustly detained herbalist narrates ordeal with SSS

Mr Fasooto never appeared in court during his six months in detention. He was never formally charged with a crime or offence.

• December 30, 2021
Fasooto Dada, Yusuf Bichi and Sunday Igboho
Fasooto Dada, Yusuf Bichi and Sunday Igboho

Fasooto Dada, a herbalist and Ekiti state resident who was detained by the State Security Service (SSS) without any known charges, has bemoaned his six months’ incarceration, saying he has no direct ties with Yoruba Nation activist Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo.

Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Services (SSS), had stormed Mr Fasooto’s Ikere Ekiti residence in July, whisking him away on suspicion that he was the witchdoctor making charms for Igboho who had been wanted days earlier.

“I have never seen Sunday Igboho physically before, I only watch him on television but state operatives without identification arrested me and accused me of making charms for Sunday Igboho,” Mr Fasooto told BBC Yoruba shortly after his release from SSS den.

Two weeks earlier, the SSS invaded the home of Igboho and brutally murdered two of his associates while arresting 12 others. Igboho who in the previous months have been holding Yoruba Nation rallies and criticising President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime for nepotism and tacit support for Fulani ethnic domination of other Nigerian tribes, was accused of stockpiling arms towards insurrection against the Nigerian state.

Mr Fasooto said his house was also raided in Gestapo manner by the SSS, his relatives harassed and properties destroyed. He was then whisked away to Ibadan and thereafter to their headquarters in Abuja.

“They broke into my house and harassed everyone without identification or search warrants, they then made a phone to their office to get a confirmation, after which they accused me of making charms for Igboho.
“They tore my bed and destroyed the properties I have in my house,” Mr Fasooto explained to the BBC.

The herbalist said that he had called an individual known as Tajudeen who was his customer and an associate of Igboho to check on his wellbeing. Unknown to him, Mr Tajudeen was in SSS cell and his phone had been confiscated by the secret police.

The SSS then quickly tracked the caller and swooped on him.

Mr Fasooto never appeared in court during his six months in detention. He was never formally charged with a crime or offence. Instead, his abductors hopped from one frivolous allegation to another, trying to find any incriminating evidence against him.

“They said I was the one making charms for Sunday Igboho, I told them I had never met Igboho physically before. Then they said I was supporting and making charms for IPOB, I told them that I have only heard about it in the news. Then they said their intelligence showed that I have been to Imo state, a place I have never visited all my life,” Mr Fasooto tearily narrated.

Mr Fasooto’s ordeal is not too distant with what is now fast becoming the new normal under the Buhari regime. The country has witnessed bloody clampdown on dissents, civil societies, and even ordinary citizens who publicly vent their frustrations about their perceived failure of his government.

Security agencies have also become overtly emboldened to violate the rights of citizens with impunity, sometimes subjecting them to torture, dehumanisation, and harassment. 
Peoples Gazette reported how arm-bearing operatives have visited brute force on citizens. Anti-graft agency EFCC have been carrying out raids hotels without any form of civility. The home Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili was also recently raided, albeit unsuccessfully, by elements who claims they were working for the Minister of Justice Abubarkar Malami.

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