Isese: Court Summons IGP, Kwara Govt, Others Over Detained Tani Olorun, Iya Osun, Other Traditionalists

A Lagos Federal High Court, today, ordered Inspector-General of Police, Kwara State Police Command, Kwara State Government and others to appear before it and show cause, why the detained Mr. Adegbola Abdulazeez. a.K.a Tani Olorun; Madam Efunsetan Abebi Aniwura Olorisha. a.k.a lya Osun and other traditional worshippers should not be unconditionally released.

Justice Akintayo Aluko, made the order while granting parts of the request made by a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, an a motion exparte.

Others affected by the order were: Registered Trustees Of Council of Ulama (Islamic Clerics); Justice Salihu Mohammed (Executive Secretary of Council of Ulama); Sheikh (Dr) Mohammad Bashir Saliu (Chief Imam of Ilorin and Chairman of Council of Ulama); Alfa Abdulsalam Baba Tonile Okuta-Agidi; Kwara State Magistrates Court, Ilorin, and Nigerian Correctional Service, Ilorin, Kwara State, listed as third to nine respondents. 

Ogungbeje in the fundamental rights enforcement suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1674/2023, had asked the court for eight reliefs and declarations

The first to eight reliefs and declarations sought by the lawyers were: “an interim order of the Court restraining the respondents jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, officials, servants, privies, officers and/or howsoever called from arresting, detaining, harassing, embarrassing, humiliating, interfering, disrupting, disturbing and further violating the rights to freedom of religion, thoughts and conscience of traditional religion adherents and worshipper and faithfuls enshrined in section 38 under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) as it relates to the planned ISESE cultural Festival to be celebrated in Ilorin, Kwara State or any other cultural festivals in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Originating Summons filed before this Honourable Court.

“An order of the court compelling the first, second respondents to provide adequate and maximum security arrangement and cover for traditional religion adherents and faithfuls pursuant to the rights to freedom of ‘religion, conscience and thoughts enshrined in section 38 under Chapter !V of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) as it relates to the planned ISESE cultural Festival in Ilorin, Kwara State or any other cultural festivals in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Originating Summons filed before this Honourable Court. 

“An interim order of the court compelling the ninth respondent (Nigerian Correctional Service, Ilorin, Kwara State) to unconditionally release Mr. Adegbola Abdulazeez. a.K.a Tani Olorun and Madam Efunsetan Abebi Aniwura Olorisha. a.k.a lya Osun from their custody forthwith pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Summons. 

“an order of this Honourable Court granting leave to the Applicant to serve the Originating Summons and other accompanying processes filed in this suit on the fifth, sixth and seventh respondents through the fourth respondent at Chief imam’s office, Ilorin Central Mosque, Oja-Oba Market, Omu-Aran Road, ilorin, Kwara State. 

“An order deeming the service on fifth, sixth and seventh respondents as good, personal and proper service. 

“An order of the Court granting leave to the Applicant to serve the Originating Summons and other accompanying processes filed in this suit on the eighth respondent through the third respondent at Attorney General’s Chambers, Attorney General of Kwara State and Commissioner of Justice, Kwara State Ministry of Justice, Ahmadu Bello Way, Ilorin, Kwara State. 

“An order deeming the service on eighth respondent as good, personal and proper service. 

“An order that all parties especially the 8th Respondent in this suit to maintain STATUS QUO and refrain from taking any action or step in any manner or further court proceedings against the Mr. Adegbola AbdulAzeez. a.k.a Tani Olorun and Madam Efunsetan Abebi Aniwura Olorisha. a.k.a lya Osun pending the hearing and determination of he substantive suit as filed before this Honourable Court.”

Justice Aluko after listening to the lawyer, who moved the motion exparte and supporting 46 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by himself held that: “upon listening to the counsel who is the applicant in this suit, reliefs four, five, six and seven are grantiable, and are thereby granted.”

The judge therefore ordered that hearing notice be issued to all respondents to appear before the court and show cause while other reliefs one, two, three and eight, should not be granted.

Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned to September 9.

Barrister Ogungbeje, stated that sometimes in July 2023, traditional religion adherents planned for the celebration of the annual Isese cultural festival in the Yoruba-speaking States in Nigeria including Ilorin, Kwara State to be celebrated on the 20th of August 2023. 

He stated that as a fact that Isese cultural festival is being celebrated in Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Ekiti State, Oyo State and Osun State and the Governments of Lagos State, Oyo State, Osun State and Ogun State have declared Monday, the 21st of August 2023 as public holiday on account

of the celebration of the annual Isese cultural festival that fell on Sunday the 20th of August 2023. 

“That based on the above, on the Sunday, the 20th of August 2023, Isese cultural festival was celebrated by all traditional religion adherents and worshippers in Lagos State, Ogun State, Oyo State, Ekiti State, Osun State and Ondo State only for traditional religion adherents be to stopped and deprived of their rights to freedom of religion, thoughts and belief by the Respondents in llorin, Kwara State 

He averred that the recent disturbing developments wherein the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respondents have openly threatened to stop the planned Isese cultural Festival in Ilorin, Kwara State by traditional religion adherents and worshippers in llorin, Kwara State without any cause. And that precisely on the Tuesday the 15th of August 2023, the fourth respondent through a press conference held by the fifth, sixth and seventh respondents threatened that “Ilorin is an Islamic State that will not tolerate [sese cultural Festival slated to be held on the 20th of August 2023 in Ilorin, Kwara State prompting the postponement of the festival to await judicial redress”.

He averred further that the subtle press statement by the first and second respondents directing the traditional religion adherents to hold Isese cultural Festival elsewhere constitutes a brazen violation of the right to freedom of religion against Nigerian Citizens. Adding that the act and action of the respondents on the stoppage of Isese cultural festival in Ilorin, Kwara State by traditional religion adherent is clearly unconstitutional. 

He averred that the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respondent have continued to use the agents of the first and second respondents to clampdown on every dissenting traditional religion adherent in a bid to silent the proponents of traditional religion in Nigeria and Ilorin, Kwara State.

The lawyer stated further that on the 31st of July 2023, one Madam Efunsetan Abebi Aniwura Olorisha. a.k.a lya Osun was arrested on the guise of defamation of character, arraigned on the 1st of August 2023 before the eighth respondent and remanded in prison custody. Adding that on the 16th of August 2023, one Mr. Adegbola AbdulAzeez. a.k.a Tani Olorun was also arrested, arraigned before the eighth respondent on the 17th of August 2023 and remanded in prison custody. 

He stated that the duo of Madam lya Osun and Tani Olorun, were arrested and arraigned without being afforded the opportunity of any legal representation or counsel of their choice. Adding that the trumped-up allegations against the duo of lya Osun and Tani Olorun who are traditional religion adherents are civil in nature that cannot ground any criminal liability. 

He averred that the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respondents in conjunction with the first, second and eighth respondents are hell bent to continue to violate and deprive traditional religion adherents and faithful from exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of religion, thoughts and conscience constitutionally guaranteed under the guise of defamation of character.

He stated that the act and action of all the respondents have brazenly and oppressively infringed on the rights of traditional religion adherents and faithfuls without recourse to law. And that the instant application has been filed in public interests against the respondents for the protection of the rights of the under-dogs and oppressed

traditional religion adherents in Nigeria necessitating judicial intervention for appropriate enlightenment and redress in a court of competent jurisdiction. 

He stated that If the respondents are not restrained by the Court, there will be further violations on the rights of traditional religion adherents and worshippers in Nigeria by the respondents. Adding that the Court has the power and jurisdiction to jealously guard the provisions of Chapter IV and other provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 

He averred that the respondents will not be prejudiced by the grant of this application. And that it will be In the interest of justice to grant the reliefs sought this application.