Civil Society Organisations on Monday stormed the United States, United Kingdom and Canada embassies in Abuja to protest against the continued detention of human rights activist Deji Adeyanju.
Adeyanju has been held on remand in Kano Prison since last year over charges bordering on public incitement and criminal defamation.
The placard-carrying protesters demanded the unconditional release of the Convener of Concerned Nigerians from detention.
The Coordinator of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, and Co-Convener, Free Nigeria Movement Constitution, Raphael Adebayo, led the protest.
The protesters pleaded with the international community to prevail on the Federal Government to order Adeyanju’s release.
Atoye accused the Muhammadu Buhari government of tyranny, disregard for democratic institutions and the rule of law.
He said, “Our fellow comrade has been unlawfully detained in Central Kano Prison in the past 52 days with limited access to his family and associates.
“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 while in police custody without any autopsy or forensic investigations carried out.
“Deji Adeyanju’s fellow comrades 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 in Abuja –but to also execute a wicked plot to keep him out of circulation indefinitely.”
He added, “We also want to draw your attention to the ignoble role played by a senior lawyer, Festus Keyamo, in Adeyanju’s ordeal. It is important to note that during the course of his trial in 2009, Adeyanju was represented by Keyamo, who is spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation.
“This fact is important in the light of Adeyanju’s criticism of the Buhari administration in the last three years, which resulted in several arrests and detentions.”
Atoye said, “Adeyanju is the only Yoruba and Christian among the four people involved in the case that the government is reviewing, while the rest are Hausa-Fulani Muslims.
“The Buhari government has through its clannish and provincial policies and actions widened Nigeria’s fault lines, thereby unsettling the country along ethno-religious lines.”
The embassies declined comments after receiving the protest letters from the coalition.