Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Following the ‘illegal’ incarceration of rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, for the past 52 days in Kano prison, a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of Concerned Civil Society groups stormed the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canadian embassies yesterday calling for the unconditional release of the activist.
They CSOs also called on the international community to prevail on the Nigerian Police Force and the federal government to respect the laws and release Adeyanju who was earlier discharged and acquitted for the same alleged offence.
The group led by the Coordinator of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian
Democracy, Mr. Ariyo-Dare Atoye, carried placards with various inscriptions like: ‘Tyranny thrives when majority are cowed’; ‘Democracy under Threat’, among others.
Atoye, while addressing the group, said Nigerians youths played key role in the enthronement of the government of President Muhammadu
Buhari, and are committed to bring the government down following the new wave of disregard for democratic institutions and the use of executive fiat to engage in illegalities without regard to the rule of law.
He said: “Fellow comrades of Deji Adeyanju in the civil society fear that this is a conspiracy to not only take him to a location beyond our reach, since we all reside within Abuja, but to also execute a wicked plot to put him out of circulation indefinitely.
“Our fellow comrade has been unlawfully detained in Central Kano Prison for the past 52 days with limited access to family and associates, and all efforts to recall the regime of the day from this blatant assault on human rights and free speech have proved abortive.
“The family and associates of our fellow comrade fear that a plot may be in the offing to eliminate him as we have seen in recent times in Nigeria of cases and instances where suspects died mysteriously in police custody without any autopsy or forensic investigation carried out on their behalf.”
The groups also accused the Director of Corporate Communication of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo (SAN), of being behind the persecution of Adeyanju as he was the lead counsel that defended Adeyanju in Kano.
He alleged that Keyamo and the All Progressives Congress (APC) plans to keep Adeyanju out of circulation as the general election approaches.
“We also want to draw your attention to the ignoble role played by a senior lawyer, Festus Keyamo, in the ordeal of Adeyanju. It is important to note that during the course of his trial in 2009,
Adeyanju was represented by Keyamo, who is currently the spokesperson for the re-election campaign of President Buhari. This fact is important in the light of Adeyanju’s criticism of the Buhari administration over the last three years which had resulted in several arrests and detentions.
“Keyamo’s stoic silence in the matter at the expense of the continued violation of the rights of a person he once represented, therefore fuels concerns in the thoughts of many Nigerians that he may have played a key role in the design and execution of the plot to keep Adeyanju out of circulation in order to protect the interests of President Buhari and his campaign. More so that we had previously written a letter to Keyamo pleading for his intervention,”Atoye