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 #Nigeria. Protest is a human right. #FreeDejiNow.”
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) November 28, 2018
“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.”
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 #FreeDejiAdeyanju
— Dr Olusegun Mimiko (@Segunmimiko) November 28, 2018
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.
Let Citizens like @adeyanjudeji exercise their rights and should they violate the law, MAKE IT EXPLICIT what and how they broke any law. @PoliceNG ,STOP USING the law as your cover to trample on Citizens right. #CitizensFirst has the right to protest against ANYTHING.#FreeDeji??
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) November 28, 2018
Deji Adeyanju @adeyanjudeji was arrested alongside @9jaInformant by @PoliceNG. The Nigerian Police should know that citizens have right to protest and freely express themselves. #FreeDejiAdeyanju #FreeBoma
— Thεό Abu Gbasky (@Shalomttheo) November 28, 2018
Ganduje, Babachir Lawal & even Adams Oshiomhole cannot be walking free while innocent Nigerians like @adeyanjudeji freely expressing their rights are hounded with reckless brutality. This is why we say our police have been bastardised. #FreeDejiNow #FreeDejiAdeyanju
— Jude C. Ndukwe (@stjudendukwe) November 28, 2018
— BOLANLE. DEJI ADEYANJU Esq. ???? (@bolanle_cole) November 28, 2018
— Nnayelugo (@Eloka51) November 28, 2018
IGP Idris has sent his men running helter skelter looking for a court to use in keeping @adeyanjudeji locked up.
They went to Margistrate Court in Zone 2 trying to get a remand order, they couldn’t get.
They have now taken him to Karshi.
DEMONIC DESPERATION #FreeDejiAdeyanju
— Deji Adeyanju (@YarKafanchan) November 28, 2018
Buhari needs to order the IG of @PoliceNG to release @adeyanjudeji with immediate effect as that is evidently an infringement on his fundamental human rights! @hrw #FreeDejiAdeyanjuNow #FreeDejiAdeyanju #FreeDejiNow
— Deji Adeyanju (LadiSpeaks) (@LadiSpeaks) November 28, 2018
Just the other day @adeyanjudeji led a peaceful protest to the @USEmbassyAbuja and today he has been arrested. If we don't cry out tomorrow it may be any of us @CanHCNigeria @UKinNigeria #FreeDejiAdeyanju NOW
— Uche Chuta (@nnabros) November 28, 2018
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.
FLASH: Because Buratai & buhari are going to Borno, they just paid last month allowance to soldiers just now. They took soldiers from Bauchi to form up at parade ground. They'll address them as soldiers in the North East.
NOTE: They are owing dead soldiers last month allowance.
— Adeyanju Deji ?? (@adeyanjudeji) November 28, 2018
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.