Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has said the Nigeria police arrested Adegbola Abdulazeez, a popular traditional religion practitioner and activist also known as Talolorun, with a fake warrant.
According to the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2023 presidential election, the police also asked the state government to allow them to prosecute Talolorun without the involvement of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“#FreeTaniOlorun: The charade by special interests in Ilorin to secretly jail Tani Olohun exposed, first they got a fake arrest warrant from Area Court to get him arrested, now asking state govt to let them prosecute him without involving the DPP’s office,” Sowore posted on his Facebook page on Sunday.
PeoplesActs News reported on Saturday that prison authorities in Kwara State denied family members and activists access to Talolorun, who was remanded by a magistrate court in Ilorin.
It was learnt that Talolorun’s family members and Isese activists were denied access to him on Saturday.
According to charges filed against the Talolorun, he was accused of planning to start a war by “inviting other traditional and idol worshippers to assemble in Ilorin on the 20th of August, 2023”, among others.
In the charge sheet, Talolorun was also accused of blasphemy, insulting the Islamic religion and inciting the public against the authorities. He was also accused of burning the Quran and insulting and defaming the Chief Imam of Offa, Muuhideen Hussein and some other clerics.
However, some of his family members and Isese activists who spoke to SaharaReporters on Saturday said the police prevented them from seeing Talolorun.
On Saturday, Sowore disclosed that he had obtained a copy of the “bogus criminal charge sheet used in falsely and illegally targeting and detaining Abdulazeez Tani Olohun and it is now completely obvious that he was being witch-hunted for his outspokenness against some people in Ilorin, Kwara State”.
Posting the charge sheet on his X (formerly Twitter) handle with #FreeTaniOlorun Now, Sowore called for his immediate release, noting that it was obvious that the police did not do any investigation before arresting Talolorun.
He said, “From the charge sheet, the police did not do any investigations, it was all hearsay from a purported petition written by an amorphous group who did not want to permit the freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
“The Nigeria Police Force acted unprofessionally by arresting and persecuting the activist. They must withdraw these charges and release him with immediate effect. At best these are civil complaints. #FreeTaniolohun NOW! Otogee! #RevolutionNow.”
The charge sheet is titled, “Nature Of Offence: Criminal Conspiracy, Insulting Or Exciting Contempt Of Religious Creed, Criminal Defamation And Inciting Disturbance Contrary To Section 97, 210, 392 and 114 Of Penal Code Law.”
It reads, “On 03/08/2021 at about 1300hrs, the above captioned case was reported to the commissioner of police, Kwara State command, through a letter of petition written by Association of Proud Sons and Daughters of Ilorin Emirate, Ilorin, Kwara State against you Adegbonla Abdulazeez Talolorun M of No 53 Adeyemo Layout, Molete, Ibadan, Oyo State for discreet investigation.
“That sometime lately in the month of July 2023, the attention of the president, Alhaji Muritala Abdulkareem Baba Bariga and other members was drawn to the videos on Youtube channel that were posted by you Adegbonla Abdulazeez Tololorun wherein you blasphemed Islam religion, burnt Qur’an, defamed some Islamic scholars in Ilorin.
“That you specifically mention Alfa Ahmad Labeeb Agbaji, Alfa Abdulsalam Baba Tonile Okuta-Agidi, that his father, late Mohammad-Lawal Okuta Agidi that was an idol worshipper, fake cleric and has a shrine in Ilorin.
You also defame Chief Iman of Offa Alhaji Muhideen Salman Hussein.
“They also stated that you are threatening to cause war in Ilorin and its environs by sending different write-up on your page on social media inviting other traditional and idol worshippers to assemble in Ilorin on the 20th of August 2023.
“Investigation conducted at the surveillance section, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Ilorin, revealed that you Adegbonla Abdulazeez Talolorun ‘M’ of No 53 Adeyema layout, Molete, Ibadan Oyo State, criminally conspired together with others at large, to insult Islamic region, defamed the character Alfa Ahmad Labeeb Agbaji, Alfa Abdulsalam Baba Tonile Okuta-Agidi and Chief Imam of Offa, Alhaji Muhideen Salman Hussein.”
SaharaReporters earlier reported that Talolorun was arrested in Ibadan on Wednesday, August 16 and taken to a police station in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
He was subsequently remanded in prison by a Magistrate court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.