Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on email@example.com
Nigerian Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the unconditional release of detained opposition activist, Deji Adeyanju.
Mr Saraki asked President Buhari to ensure that his fundamental human rights are not continuously abused by the Police, because according to him, the case is more political than judicial.
Saraki in a statement signed by his media adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, noted that the Adeyanju case is painting the Buhari administration in bad light.
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It portrays the government as intolerant to criticisms and views from the opposition.
Saraki said Adeyanju was arrested after leading a protest in Abuja, and after sundry charges were filed against him, he was re-arrested after being given bail by a court.
All this shows a “deliberate attempt to get him out of circulation,” Saraki said.
The Senate President said the Adeyanju case indicates that dictatorial tendencies are becoming rife in a democratic country like Nigeria.
“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,” Saraki said.
“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 added.