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Senate Probes Adeyanju’s continued detention, Planned Murder, retrial by Police

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***Gives committees one week to investigate his arrest

By Henry Umoru



ABUJA- THE Senate has begun probe into the continued detention of an activist, Deji Adeyanju, by the police.

IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Bukola Saraki, Senate President

Subsequently, the Senate has mandated its Committees on Police Affairs and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to carry out a holistic investigation into the matter and report back at plenary in the next seven days.

Resolution of the Senate yesterday was sequel to a point of Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye, PDP, Kogi West.

The detained activist hails from Melaye’s Senatorial district.

Presenting the motion, Senator Melaye who came under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, said that the activist had been arraigned twice for alleged human rights protest by the police and re-arrested him after being released by the court.

He said: “One of my constituents named Umar Adeyonju Deji, was invited by the police, having been arrested twice for public protest.

“Deji is a pro-democracy activist. He has been arrested twice by the Nigerian police and released on bail for organising protests in the defence of human rights and democracy.

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“This social activist was rearrested last Thursday on the orders of the Inspector General of Police over a matter that took place in Kano in 2018, that is 18 years ago.

“This matter has been decided by a competent court of law in the Kano division of the High Court.

“The judgment has been given; Deji and two others have been discharged and acquitted by the court”.

According to Melaye, Nigeria is a democracy where people should not be stopped from exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association as guaranteed by the Constitution, just as he said that attempts by a security agency to abridge those rights was not acceptable to him, adding that it should not be acceptable to the Senate and that the constitution must be adhered to.

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Melaye who alleged that the police had concluded arrangement to take Deji back to Kano for retrial over a matter already decided by the court, however urged the Senate to rise in defence of the activist and every other Nigerian whose rights were being trampled upon.

To this end, he called for the constitution of a special committee to investigate the matter.

Senator Emmanuel Paulker, PDP-Bayelsa Central, who seconded the motion, said the Senate should ensure appropriate action was taken when the committee submit its report.

In his remarks, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said that there was no need for a special committee since the Committees on Judiciary and Police Affairs could handle the matter.

After the lawmakers approved the motion through a voice vote, Saraki gave the committees one week to report back to the Senate.

Saraki said: “In matters like this, the Senate should be seen as defending democracy and protecting the rights of individuals.

“This young man has been arrested and rearrested over a case of over 18 years ago.

“It is just an example of harassment and we cannot be seen tolerating or accepting that. This is a country that is seen as a leader in the continent, and we must show that democracy is working.”

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