A coalition of civil society organisations has accused the Federal Government of barring family members, friends and well-wishers from visiting an Abuja-based activist, Deji Adeyanju, who is remanded in the Kano Central Prison.
Adeyanju, who is facing trial for alleged murder, was arrested by the police in Abuja in December last year and arraigned before a Kano Magistrates’ Court, which ordered his detention on December 13, 2018.
The civil society groups raised the alarm of an alleged plot to eliminate the detainee hence the decision by the authorities to bar his family members and other well-wishers from visiting him in the prison. This was contained in a statement signed by Ariyo-Dare Atoye of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution; Raphael Adebayo of Our Mumu Don Do Movement; and Moses Paul of MadConnect, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The statement read in part, “There is credible information, and as reported by a popular online medium, that the regime, through the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, has ordered the Nigerian Prisons Service to stop visitors, including friends and family members, from visiting Deji Adeyanju in the Kano Prison. We, therefore, consider this wicked and unlawful directive as a prelude to carrying out whatever hidden lethal plot they have against him.”
The activists said they were worried about Adeyanju’s safety and demanded his immediate release as directed by Justice Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
The CSOs said, “Family members, friends and associates have contacted the ‘Free Deji Adeyanju Campaign Team’ to express their strong fears that their son, brother and friend is no longer safe in the Kano Central Prison. We will continue to ask why the Nigeria Police ordered the arrest of Deji Adeyanju, the only Yorùbá-Christian out of four persons namely: Alhaji Muhammad Baba, Adeyanju, Musa Daura and Kabiru Ahmad, who were discharged and acquitted in 2009 in Kano, in a case of culpable homicide. The fact that the rest are Hausa-Fulani Muslims has further exposed the ethno-religious bias and vendetta of the divisive administration that has consistently tried to widen our fault lines as a nation.”
While reacting to the allegations, the spokesman for the Nigerian Prisons Service, Francis Enobore, expressed doubts over the allegation, noting that the Federal Government had never asked the service to restrict access to inmates by visitors.
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