ABUJA – Several civil society organisations, CSOs, on Wednesday, staged a demonstration at the headquarters of the National Human Right Commission, NHRC, in Abuja to protest against the unlawful detention of Deji Adeyanju, a rights activists and a strong critic the government.
They also alleged sinister plots by the police hierarchy to assassinate him ahead of the forthcoming general elections in 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Comrade Ariyo Atoye, the convener of Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, called on the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, to do all within the powers of his office to protect Mr. Adeyanju’s fundamental rights as well as prevail on the police to respect the rule of law.
Recall that last week Adeyanju was invited to the FCT Police Command Headquarters to collect his handset that was seized by the police during a previous arrest and incarceration following protests perceived to be anti-government.
On getting to Police Command in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and after collecting his phone, the activist was accosted by operatives from the office of the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit and confronted with already prepared questions that bother on a murder case that has been decided and closed by a competent court of Law in 2009.
Since then, Adeyanju has been in police detention and unreachable by his lawyer, associates, family, and friends.
Against that background, Atoye said: “Unfortunately, the plot to silence him was further emboldened as the Nigerian Police Force, yesterday, December 18, 2018, hurriedly transferred Deji Adeyanju to Kano State, claiming they want to review the same case in which judgement and justice was served about 10 years ago.
“Based on the above: family and associates fear a plot may be in the offing to eliminate him as we seen in recent times of cases and instances where suspects died mysteriously in police custody and there was hardly any autopsy done and no forensic investigation carried out on their behalf;
“Also, fellow comrades in the civil society fear that this is a conspiracy to not only take him to a location beyond our reach but to also execute a wicked plot to silent him ultimately.
“We, therefore, call on the commission to prevail on the police to respect the law of the land and refuse the bait to drag them into the politics of 2019 and release Deji Adeyanju who was arrested illegally and that has since been detained illegally since last Thursday 13th December, 2018.
“We also want the commission to protect Deji Adeyanju from oppression, victimisation and police harassment. The NHRC establishment is aimed at the creation of an environment for the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights.
“The whole World is aware that our fellow comrade Deji Adeyanju is a voice of the downtrodden and the oppressed who is only asking salient questions from the Authority towards a better Nigeria. Democracy will die on the day that the voice of opposition is no longer loud due to persecution and oppression like the one our fellow comrade Deji Adeyanju is now going through.”