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Deji Adeyanju’s arrest more political than judicial – Saraki

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has described the re-arrest and detention of an activist, Deji Adeyanju, as political rather than judicial in nature.
Mr Saraki called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his immediate release. His call for Mr Adeyanju’s release is to ensure that his fundamental human rights are not continuously abused by the police.
Mr Saraki’s call comes six days after the Senate gave its committees on judiciary and police affairs one week to investigate circumstances surrounding the arrest of the activist.
Mr Adeyanju was first arrested on November 28 while leading a protest against alleged bias by security chiefs in the build up to the general elections.
Even though he was arraigned and granted bail same day, Mr Adeyanju could not meet his conditions until December 6 when he finally gained freedom.
Barely a week later, Mr Adeyanju was re-arrested for his alleged connection to a 2005 murder involving him. He has remained in detention since then.
However, PREMIUM TIMES’ findings show Mr Adeyanju was discharged and acquitted then by the court.
The lawyer who represented him then, Festus Keyamo, also confirmed this despite now being a spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election team.
Mr Adeyanju was later taken to a magistrate court in Kano where he has been remanded in prison until February 2019.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Mr Saraki noted that the case is presenting the present administration in bad light as “a government that is intolerant of criticism and suppressing views of the opposition”
He also said the onslaught on Mr Adeyanju, government critic, indicated a deliberate attempt to get him out of circulation ahead of 2019.
“The way the matter has been handled and the last decision of the Magistrate Court to remand the young man in prison till after the conclusion of the 2019 polls has presented our democracy in bad light. We are now looking like a country that has receded to the period of military rule.

“The president needs to intervene to find out whether the current travail of Deji Adeyanju has anything to do with his frequently expressed viewpoints against the Federal Government and why his arrest after leading a protest has now ignited all the various charges being filed against him and if it was true that the charges for which he has been remanded in prison till February had actually being adjudicated upon by the High Court.”
“It should be noted that prior to the coming to office of this government, those of us in opposition, the APC, freely criticized the Goodluck Jonathan government and flayed their actions and statements without any attempt by the administration to stifle opposing views. This administration which benefitted from such open market place of ideas, which is a key tenet of a democratic regime, cannot offer anything less to our people.
“At this point, President Buhari should not allow the excesses and over-zealousness of some security agents to give his government a bad name and that is why I think he should interfere and let the world know the truth about this case. It is obvious that this case is purely political and not about any judicial action. I also call on all human rights protection groups to wade into this matter and ensure we do not watch helplessly as the rights of a citizen is being trampled upon,” he said.

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