Oba of Lagos should apologise to Igbo people ‘without delay’ – Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has told the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, to apologise to the Igbo people in Lagos “without delay” over his controversial statement.

During a courtesy visit by Eze Ndigbos (Igbo traditional rulers) of all the local governments in Lagos at the Oba’s Palace on Sunday, Mr. Akiolu had said that Igbo residents in the state should cast their votes for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Akinwunmi Ambode, or “perish inside the lagoon.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mr. Falana said the Oba’s diversionary threat is totally unacceptable as it is a mockery of the political objective of national integration.

“It is illegal as it clearly offends Section 42 of the Constitution which has prohibited discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, religion, political opinion, creed or sex,” said Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

“Although the Oba lacks the power to cause anyone to ‘die in the Lagoon within seven days,’ the threat constitutes a violation of the fundamental right of thousands of citizens to life.

“In the case of Director-General of State Security Service v Olisa Agbakoba (1999) 3 N.W.L.R (PT 595) 314 it was held by the Supreme Court that ‘It is not in dispute that the Constitution gives every Nigerian citizen the right to move throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof. It also guarantees to the citizen the right not to be expelled from Nigeria nor be refused entry or exit therefrom.’

“Since the residency right of every citizen is constitutionally guaranteed the Igbo people in Lagos should discountenance the threat of Oba Akiolu.”

The monarch came under severe criticism on Monday, as christian groups and opposition politicians lambasted him for his utterance.

Mr. Falana reminded the Oba that Lagos had continued to provide accommodation for Nigerians from all walks of life, a reason he said accounted for the absence of ‘abandoned properties’ in the state after the civil war.

“From time to time, armed militants and other misguided youths who unleash mindless violence on ‘non indigenes’ have always been called to order by the Government and the people of Lagos State,” Mr. Falana said.

“Indeed, the human-rights community has always kicked against discriminatory policies and ensured that all victims of human rights abuse are defended and protected regardless of their ethnic identity.

“As a senior lawyer, Oba Akiolu ought to have realized that the Electoral Act has not conferred powers on any traditional ruler or any other authority to sanction anyone for voting for a candidate of his or her choice in any election conducted in Nigeria.

“After all, before the just concluded presidential election the Oba adduced reasons why he could not endorse the presidential candidate of the APC, General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd.). He was not harassed or intimidated for exercising his freedom of choice.

“Since the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended has banned any form of hate campaign the Oba is advised to withdraw the threat credited to him and apologize publicly to the Igbo people without any delay.”


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  • Lily

    On Oba Akiolu Outburst Dele Famose wrote:

    l am yet to see a man that will keep quiet when his territory is been invaded with impunity.

    AFONJA was a Yoruba man, and a General in the Oyo Army. He was made the Commanding Officer of Ilorin Outpost. He was an over ambitious man who wanted to be King at all cost and he knew there was no way he could defeat Alaafin of Oyo Army, so he gathered Fulani settlers under Mallam Alimi together to help fight Alaafin, yes the Fulanis helped him to defeat Alafin’s Army but he was never made king. That was how the Yoruba people lost Ilorin a prominent Yoruba town to Fulani Emirate through this treacherous act, probably forever.

    TODAY, LAGOS IS THE NEW ILORIN . JIMI AGBAJE IS THE NEW AFONJA, WHILE THE IGBOS ARE THE NEW FULANI. Come Saturday, Lagosians should not allow history to repeat itself. Oloju ko ni la oju sile ki talu o wo.
    Eko oni baje.

    • Layo

      O baje ti.

      • Lanrus

        Mujahedden Rilwanu Akiolu must be DEPOSED

        Barrister Femi Falana always goes in a wrong direction. Apology is irrelevant here.
        An expressed intention by Oba Akiolu to commit genocide on Christians is a crime.
        Governor Jimi Agbaje MUST depose Mujaheeden Rilwanu Akiolu latest 5th of June.

        This deposition of Mujahedeen Akiolu must be signed by 5th of June, 2015.
        Nigerian law directs the Governor to depose any Oba in the interest of public peace.
        And now for public peace in Lagos, Governor Agbaje must depose Akiolu on 5th June.
        Genocidal intention is not redressible by a mere apology. Genocide is a heinous crime.

    • Town Crier

      Hahahaha! These olodo APC Muslims now say:”don’t divide the Yoruba into Muslims and Christians,

      but we as Yoruba Muslims will plot underground to dominate Yoruba Christians“. What kind of crass
      talk is that? Who has thereby divided the Yoruba people? The Muslims plotting DOMINATION – like
      Rilwanu Kasali and Oba Rilwanu Akiolu
      – or the non-Muslims forming an armed Liberation Movement?
      These APC Muslims go school at all? They only have mosquito brain. No sense inside their brain at all.

    • Citizen

      Till Eternity comes, Lagos will remain first a Yoruba land and heritage before being referred to as a commercial centre. Dubai, is still under the control of the UAE citizens despite the globalisation of the land. Ki i je ti baba, t’omo ki o ma ni aala. In as much as I do not support the utterance of the Oba, we should appreciate our limits within the Nigerian agenda. Our Igbo brothers and sisters should just ignore that and vote for progress NOT ethnicity, and Lagos will be good for all of us.

    • Nwa _ Africa

      You need serious help and fast

    • dulles

      America and Britain – who both tend Nigeria as an orphan – now have their work cut out,
      as a ruffian rogue state is now set to emerge from behind the back of Muhammadu Buhari,
      Alhaji Rilwanu Akiolu, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Alhaji Raji Fashola
      – all of whom the
      Islamist fundamentalists in Nigeria see as the acceptable icons of Jihadist Islamism.

    • ofco

      You are right. Also quite unfortunately Yoruba people don’t vote.
      Meanwhile, we will see ourselves as one Nigeria if we all can vote and win election in any part of the country. For example, Sola becoming the governor of Kano, Mohammed a senator representing Enugu and Rita orji a governor of a Lagos or Ekiti.

      Otherwise, we will remain a divided country.

      • Lily

        Gino’s are the major and singular problem of this country. They are too selfish and worship money to their own peril! No tribe or ethnic group like them, from Calabar to Kano to port harcourt to Lagos, people hate them with passion. Why can’t they look inward!

    • Churchill Roosevelt

      You got your history lessons wrong.Please go to the nearest Library around and redo a research on Yoruba history or you meet a Yoruba Oral historian from Oyo town .

    • Churchill Roosevelt

      Agreed Lagos has and will always be progressive and of course we all know who will be the Governor but your history is a bit tainted OR is it parable? Laughss
      Omo Oduduwa nle o

  • lanre akinwunmi

    Mujahedden Rilwanu Akiolu must be DEPOSED

    Barrister Femi Falana always goes in a wrong direction. Apology is irrelevant here.

    An expressed intention by Oba Akiolu to commit genocide on Christians is a crime.

    Governor Jimi Agbaje MUST depose Mujaheeden Rilwanu Akiolu latest 5th of June.

    This deposition of Mujahedeen Akiolu must be signed by 5th of June, 2015.
    Nigerian law directs the Governor to depose any Oba in the interest of public peace.
    And now for public peace in Lagos, Governor Agbaje must depose Akiolu on 5th June.
    Genocidal intention is not redressible by a mere apology. Genocide is a heinous crime.

  • Jide

    The guy should apologise abeg and let this issue die

  • By Popular Demand

    Mujahedden Rilwanu Akiolu must be DEPOSED

    Barrister Femi Falana always goes in a wrong direction. Apology is irrelevant here.
    An expressed intention by Oba Akiolu to commit genocide on Christians is a crime.
    Governor Jimi Agbaje MUST depose Mujaheeden Rilwanu Akiolu latest 5th of June.
    This deposition of Mujahedeen Rilwanu Akiolu must be signed 5th of June, 2015.

    Nigerian law directs the Governor to depose any Oba in the interest of public peace.
    And now for public peace in Lagos, Governor Agbaje must depose Akiolu on 5th June.
    Genocidal intention is not redressible by a mere apology. Genocide is a heinous crime.
    The continuing stay of Mujahedeen Rilwanu Akiolu is clear and present danger to Lagos.

    • Shobajo

      Every Islamist party, like APC, needs a few servile Christian for votes; so long as
      those few servile Christians – like Akin Ambode – accept Muslims’ instructions.
      But we already know this truth as self-evident that APC is a criminal organization –
      full of Alhajis – signifying stealing.

      • Joe

        LAGOS SAI JIMI. NO GOING BACK, CHANGE HAS COME TO LAGOS.

    • Colonel Mariama(rtd)

      Can somebody please tell this man to put some clothes on? He really does not have the kind of body to show off. I do even at my age. My years of working out paid off greatly.I am a mass of lean muscles and proud of it too. I doubt that anybody that posts here can stand up to me in this particular area. It is my exclusive bragging right.

      • Otile

        The mumu is dancing naked in public. You cannot stop a mad man.

  • ofco

    we will see ourselves as one Nigeria if we all can vote and win election in any part of the country. For example, Sola becoming the governor of Kano, Mohammed a senator representing Enugu and Rita orji a governor of a Lagos or Ekiti.

    Otherwise, we will remain a divided country.

  • sami

    Can a non Igbo person contest for an elective post in the south east? NO! Are igbos the only non indigenes in Lagos? No! So why would you expect the Oba of Lagos to keep quiet and watch when some pressure groups are conspiring to mortgage this great opportunity for Lagos which has been an opposition state for 16 years just because some groups want a higher stake which they won’t give to others back in their home states? Let us be fair, outside Lagos this cannot happen in any other state. You guys are biting more than you can chew and the consequence is very clear, we are now on the road to losing the privilege we non yorubas enjoy in Lagos.”Igbo person must be deputy governor in Lagos state” when a yoruba man cannot even be councillor in Enugu or Anambra. As for the oba, I expected him to be able to control his emotions as a leader and make these points very clear to the igbo community without issueing any threats. Do not conspire against your host so that the privilege currently being enjoyed that make you people feel at home in Lagos wouldn’t be taken away.

    • share Idea

      Is Agbaje an Igbo person or related to any Igbo kindred – No. Even if he is an Igbo person, the best yorubas can do is not vote for him and with your supposed majority, he will not be elected. Politics is a game of number and interest. If Yoruba or any other ethnic origins believe that they have enough number in any Igbo states, surely they can field a candidate will definitely win.

      For the fact that Igbos take any place they reside as their home should not be eliciting all this unnecessary hatred towards them. I have not heard of anybody that applied for C of O in any Igbo state or tried to buy land or setup industries in any Igbo states and was denied because he or she is not an Igbo.

      • Taiwo

        You are a liar. The kind of unannounced persecution RCCG is facing in Anambra over landed property is overwhelming .

        • share Idea

          Please can you elaborate – “The kind of unannounced persecution RCCG is facing in Anambra over landed property is overwhelming”, what do you mean by unannounced persecution… did try to develop a land duly bought and was prevented from doing so? Are you saying that RCCG is not in Anambra State? If they are? how come those ones are not been persecuted? We’re all Nigerian and it will not help with all these hatred. The world is now a global village and we Nigerian are behaving as if we from different planets

    • campol

      Shame on you

    • Wise Head

      Is anybody stopping you from settling anywhere in the South East and contesting elections there? Why are killing yourself gradually by hate at your inability to be as enterprising as others? Please, don’t allow hate and bitterness to kill you. Your Oba has no right to dictate to anyone whom to vote. Does he own any life, including even his own? Does he know what God has in store for him even before the Saturday election? What a pity

    • Colonel Mariama(rtd)

      Frankly speaking you should be beheaded for spewing such puerile nonsense.You want a united country but only one where you’d be permitted to build a fence around your enclave. What manner of unity is that? If you are truly a Nigerian, I see nothing stopping you from settling in any part of the country of your own choosing without fear. You have a rather narrow world view which minimizes the lens through which you view the world. Like somebody already told you, “the world( not just Nigeria) is a village”. Just see how the White House influenced the outcome of this election to ensure their bought candidate wins. Their grouse against President Jonathan is that he would allow gay marriages in the country and he is seen to be too close to China( never mind that the US will never stop borrow from China in the foreseeable future). You truly deserve to be beheaded and I mean it sincerely.

  • Igbo bu IGBO

    The man must be the Oba of Area boys, some one should please translate the meaning of “Igbo enwe eze” to him. Having said that ” Who is he that saith it and it comes to pass when the Lord has not spoken” He will soon drown himself in his Lagoon. Omo oshi.

  • Comfortkay

    Oba of Lagos is a first class king in Yoruba Nation and he will not apologize for any statement he might have made.
    If anyone feels offended they should stomach it and drink cool water.

    • McAlfred Uta

      I didn’t know he is first class Oba. I thought he is an off shoot of Benin Kingdom as the name implies considering that the real Traditional Rulers in Yorubaland do not answer Oba. Just check out Alaafin, Ooni, Owa Onokun, Olubadan, Awujale, Deji, Soun, Ahonu of nearby Badagry etc. Go back to history and see that it was the Portuguese who traded with ancient Benin Kingdom through Eko sea port that that led to an offshoot of the Oba of Benin superintending over then Eko later renamed Lagos. Avoid deceiving bloggers who may not know the true history.

      • Comfortkay

        You don’t know any thing and you have not seen anything yet, you people should vote PDP and we shall see you will be in trouble.

  • Otile

    Mumu oba, you stole our resources to develop your land. Economics dictates that progressive people congregate to a meeting ground for development. Since Eko was developed with our resources every country in continent Nigeria congregates there, not only Ndigbo. Are you so daft as not to see other ethic groups there?

    Again before Abuja was developed with resources from SE SS did you see any Yoruba there? Now go to developed Abuja every other person you see there is Odua. Why not stay back in Osun, Epe, Ijebu Ugbo and other Yariba natural areas?
    What is driving you all to Abuja?

    Yorubas are the worst hypocrites on God’s earth.

    • Niakita Kresbin

      My fellow Igbo, do not go to another man’s land to betray him. If you
      want to vote according to Igbo pattern come back home and do it. If you
      want to be deputy governor, come back home and do it. As long as you are
      in Lagos, do as Lagosians. Have you forgotten our proverb “obiara nke
      onye abiagbula ya. Mgbe oga ala ka nkpukpu apula ya”. This means let
      your visit to my house not cause problem for either you or me. You see what I predicted. Igbos are already holding the can for Ijaw people once more. If really they voted as Igbo why not for APGA?

    • Critical

      It is people like you that cause problem for the igbos. It is attitude like this that led to the mass killing of the igbos in the 60s that eventually led to civil war. We all condemn the Oba’s message and he has come to clarify himself which is in order. Why then are you insulting their Oba? Will you take anybody no matter under the circumstances to insult the king of your village? If Lagosians wake up tomorrow and start fighting and destroying Igbo properties tomorrow what will you feel justified for your actions. Lets stop this nonsense and move on to other issues.

    • McAlfred Uta

      Please don’t abuse a whole tribe. It is possible Akiolu does not know anywhere outside Lagos Island to appreciate that the Gbagyis have not started driving away non natives from Abuja. The Lagoon seems to be his farthest knowledge of geographical surroundings where he swims regularly without “drowning”.

  • Niakita Kresbin

    My fellow Igbo, do not go to another man’s land to betray him. If you want to vote according to Igbo pattern come back home and do it. If you want to be deputy governor, come back home and do it. As long as you are in Lagos, do as Lagosians. Have you forgotten our proverb “obiara nke onye abiagbula ya. Mgbe oga ala ka nkpukpu apula ya”. This means let your visit to my house not cause problem for either you or me.

  • McAlfred Uta

    Dear Falana, I apologize to you for insinuating that you kept quiet in the face of tyranny. Now that you can look Akiolu in the face and ask him to apologize I strongly and continues to believe that you are the right person for AGF under GMB. Please clear the mess from Adoke when you become the “Chief Law Officer” of the Federation.