Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has expressed disgust at the charging of seven Yoruba men to court over the recent ethnic clash and killings in the Shasha area of Oyo State.
The Afenifere noted that the trial of only Yoruba suspects in the aftermath of the clash showed partiality in an incident that was a clash between two parties, Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani.
The Afenifere Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, on behalf of the group lamented on injustice in Nigeria, demanded an end to the “selective justice that can only provoke more injustices”.
He said, “It is a tragic throwback to three years ago when only the indigenous Ife were arrested in Ile-Ife, Osun State when there was a similar clash between Yoruba and Hausa in the ancient city.
“The police should show more impartiality. Where are the arsonists who burnt down the Yoruba section of the market? Are the Hausa/Fulani above the law? A country cannot go on this way.
“So, the question to ask Nigeria’s unjust system is this; if it was a Yoruba versus Yoruba crisis, where then is the case of the Hausa/Fulani who accused the Yoruba of attacking them and which the Federal Government had allegedly agreed to compensate with billions of naira?
“We demand a halt to this selective justice that can only provoke more injustices. It is laughable that all the Yoruba have been charged for the death of a Yoruba man who was beaten with a charm to death by the Fulani when the fight ensued.”
The suspects arrested by the police include Adekunle Olanrewaju, 38; Olagunju James, 24; Rasaq Yahya, 32 and Olaide Olawuyi, 20.
They were charged with six counts bordering on conspiracy, arson, and murder.
At the Magistrate Court at Iyaganku, Ibadan, Justice I. O. Osho, who did not take the plea of the suspects for want in the jurisdiction, ordered the police to return the case file to the Office of the Oyo State Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.
Ms Osho adjourned the matter until May 11, for mention.
Earlier, the police prosecution counsel, Foluke Oladosu, told the court that the suspects conspired with others, at large, to commit the offence.
Oladosu explained that on February 12, around 10 am, 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 damages worth N50 million.
The police also alleged that the suspects burnt down a house belonging to Osuolale Akindele and destroyed property worth N20 million.
The offence, 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.