#FreeDejiNow: Amnesty In’tl, Mimiko, Ezekwesili Condemn Deji Adeyanju Arrest

#FreeDejiNow: Amnesty In’tl, Mimiko, Ezekwesili Condemn Deji Adeyanju Arrest

By Ima Matthew | Sub Editor on November 30, 2018
Deji Adeyanju Human Rights Writers Association
Deji Adeyanju, the convener of Concerned Nigerians

Amnesty International has joined a growing list of human rights groups, prominent leaders, activists, and journalists and citizens that have condemned the arrest of political activiss Deji Adeyanju; Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams, and detention in Keffi Prisons, Nasarawa State, for protesting against alleged partisanship by the police.

The three accused persons had led a protest against the police to the Force headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, for sealing the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, when they were picked up and hastily arraigned in court.

The Nigerian chapter of Amnesty International, on its verified Twitter account, @AmnestyNigeria, said, “Arrest of @adeyanjudeji by @PoliceNG is an appalling sign of increasing shrinking of civic space in . Protest is a human right. .”

“Arrest of @adeyanjudeji by @PoliceNG is an appalling sign of increasing shrinking of civic space in #Nigeria. Protest is a human right. #FreeDejiNow.”

One of the prominent national leaders to first condemn the arrest of the activists is Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, the immediate past governor of Ondo State and Senatorial candidate under the Zenith Labour Party. He wrote on Twitter, “Repressing peaceful protest is not only morally treasonable but dangerous in its propensity to trigger a violent counterpart. No democratic administration can flourish without criticism, as the very foundation of democracy is undermined when dissent is silenced.”

Oby Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, also condemned the strong-arm tactics of the Buhari regime and called for Adeyanju’s release along with his comrades.

Adeyanju has been tipped to lead the youth movement for the presidential campaign of the main challenger to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.

Since 2015, Adeyanju, a Kogi prince, who served as an aide to Doyin Okupe, a senior special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, has gained a reputation as a human right and democracy activist. He is the convener of the group, Concerned Nigerians and one of the leaders of the Our Mumu Don Do movement.

He has staged protests against the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the secret police’s invasion of the National Assembly Complex earlier in the year. He is also critical of officials in the Buhari government.

Adeyanju recently organised a protest to the United States Embassy in Abuja demanding for the US government’s intervention in ensuring a free and fair election next year.

Adeyanju and his comrades were charged with criminal conspiracy, public nuisance, disturbance of public peace, and threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituted authority and breach of law and order under Sections 96, 113, 114, 152, 183 and 391 of the Penal Code.

The accused persons were, however, granted bail by the presiding Magistrate, Aliu Kagarko, but could not immediately meet the conditions, which included two sureties, one of whom must be a level 14 civil servant with a cover letter from his superior, and also a businessman with a verified address.


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