Activist Deji Adeyanju, two others to spend night in prison

Deji Adeyanju (Photo Credit: Politics Nigeria)
Deji Adeyanju (Photo Credit: Politics Nigeria)

A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Abuja on Wednesday granted bail to Deji Adeyanju, a political activist, and two others, who were arraigned by the police after being arrested at a protest ground in Abuja.

But Mr Adeyanju, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams were reportedly unable to meet the conditions as of 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, and were consequently remanded in prison in Keffi, Nasarawa State, about 40 minutes drive from Abuja.

Details of the bail were unclear, but they reportedly included providing a civil servant who must attain at least level-14 in career.

They were arrested during a demonstration against police bias in the election process on Wednesday morning. They were subsequently arraigned before the court in Karshi, a low-income suburb of Abuja.

The police accused the three of criminal defamation and disturbance of public peace, which they said constituted a threat to public safety and punishable under the penal code.

The police relied heavily on Mr Adeyanju’s social media post in accusing him of criminal defamation.

Police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood said in a Wednesday night statement Messrs Adeyanju, Abobama and Williams had legal representation during their arraignment.

The matter was adjourned to January 21, 2019, for hearing.

Mr Adeyanju, a former operative of the Peoples Democratic Party who later renounced the opposition platform for full-time activism, has regularly clashed with the police.

He had been detained at least three times this year alone, including when he led protests to demand President Muhammadu Buhari’s return to office when the Nigerian leader was staying months away in London treating undisclosed ailments.

Mr Adeyanju’s arrest has been widely condemned, and demand for his release sent him trending at number one on Nigerian Twitter Wednesday evening.

Amongst those who have demanded his release include Shehu Sani, a senator, rights activist Charly Boy and other associates of Mr Adeyanju, who leads Concerned Nigerians, a citizen-action advocacy group.


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