Detained Nigerian opposition leader allowed to meet wife after seven days

Babatunde Gbadamosi

Sade Gbadamosi, the wife of Babatunde Gbadamosi, an opposition party chieftain who was arrested nearly a week ago, says she has been allowed to see her husband in custody.

The meeting, which happened around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, was the first between the couple since Mr. Gbadamosi was arrested exactly week ago.

“I just saw my husband, he is well. Alleluyah!! God is good! Thanks for your love and prayers!!” She said in a message to PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday evening.

Mrs. Gbadamosi said she saw her husband at the SSS headquarters. She did not give further details.

The meeting followed intensified calls for Mr. Gbadamosi’s release, with many Nigerians and civic groups slamming the SSS for holding him incommunicado and without charge.

“By holding him incommunicado, the SSS has violated the fundamental rights of the detainee to personal liberty and fair hearing,” human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said Wednesday.

Mr. Falana said he was “compelled to demand” Mr. Gbadamosi’s “immediate and unconditional release” after being duly briefed about his ordeal.

“In the alternative, the SSS should charge him to court forthwith if there is evidence that he has committed any criminal offence known to law.”

Mr. Falana said the SSS’ actions of illegal detention was a throwback to the military era.

“Even under the defunct military junta, the arrest and detention of political detainees and economic saboteurs were justified by the military dictators under preventive detention decrees.

“Notwithstanding that the obnoxious decrees have been repealed, the SSS has continued to breach the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people in utter breach of the relevant provisions of the Constitution which have guaranteed them,” he stated.

Over the weekend, Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, lampooned the SSS for the poor treatment meted out to Mr. Gbadamosi who acted as a responsible citizen and honoured the invitation from the secret police.

“It is only in a banana republic that someone will honour invitation of security agency, only for him to be bundled into any available plane and moved from Lagos to Abuja without telling anyone what his offences were,” the governor said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Gbadamosi’s lawyers filed a motion at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court seeking enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom, liberty and life.

Despiting being allowed to meet him today, Mrs. Gbadamosi said she still didn’t have an idea when her husband will be released.

Calls for Mr. Gbadamosi’s freedom had been trending under the hashtag #FreeBOG for several days, and an online petition that was created to press for his release had garnered 460 supporters as at 7:46 p.m. Wednesday.

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