Barely 24 hours after his release from the Keffi Prisons, an Abuja-based activist and Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, has again been remanded in prison custody.
He was remanded by a Wuse II Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, following his arraignment on charges of cyber-stalking, inciting disturbance and criminal defamation by the police.
The presiding magistrate, Idiat Akanni, however, adjourned Adeyanju’s bail application to Thursday.
Adeyanju got into trouble with the authorities when he led a protest to the police headquarters last Wednesday against alleged police roles in sealing off the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
He was arrested alongside two other campaigners, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams, and arraigned before the Karshi Magistrates’ Court, which remanded them in the Keffi Prisons in Nasarawa State.
The accused persons were charged with criminal conspiracy, public nuisance, disturbance of public peace and threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituted authority and breach of law and order under sections 96, 113, 114, 152, 183 and 391 of the Penal Code.
Though they were granted bail by the presiding magistrate, Aliu Kagarko, the accused persons could not immediately meet the conditions, which included two sureties, one of who must be a level 14 civil servant with a cover letter from his superior, and also a businessman with a verifiable address.
The activists were able to perfect the bail conditions on Monday, but while Abobama and Williams were released, Adeyanju was re-arrested by the police and arraigned on new charges.
Adeyanju and his co-accused had stormed the police headquarters with a big banner with the inscription, ‘Police are not politicians; this rally is about saving democracy; 2019 elections in danger’.
The protesters had expressed concern about the current state of affairs in the country “where the Nigeria Police Force is increasingly becoming a tool to be used against real and perceived political enemies of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress.”
Justifying their arrest, the police spokesperson, Moshood Jimoh, claimed that the men were apprehended for contravening the law.
He stated that their alleged defamatory comments and utterances were capable of “inciting public disturbance, threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituent authority and breach of law and order.”