Police Officers attached with Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja arrested a leading human rights activist in Lagos, Professor Maurice Fangnon of Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Africa in the afternoon of Wednesday, 19th July, 2017 and detained him first of all overnight at the FCID Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos before moving him in the early hours of Thursday, 20th July, 2017 to FCID Headquarters, Abuja. What is not clear as at press time is the exact charge or allegation for which he was arrested.
According to his lawyer, Mr. Ayo Ademiluyi, who was in the company of his son, Femi Dodo a legal practitioner, who was with him at the time he was making a statement at FCID Annex, Alagbon, “when I demanded to know the exact allegation for which he was to be arrested and detained, the Police said that it was on the basis of a petition, which they cannot disclose to his counsel” .This has caused a lot of apprehension among his family members, relatives, political associates and well-wishers as to the aim of his arrest.
However, according to credible sources, clear is that Professor Maurice Fangnon has been leading the campaign against the demolition of Otodo-Gbame, a waterfront community that was demolished by the Lagos State Government despite a valid and subsisting court order granted by Justice Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State against same.
Professor Maurice Fangnon also petitioned certain persons who armed with guns and all sorts of dangerous weapon have been going into the community to kill and maim residents of otodo gbame in broad day light with the full and glaring support of the Nigeria Police. It is these persons who have been exonerated by the police after paying their way through that are fighting back by alleging “false information” in Professor Fangnon’s petition.
A mass protest was held on Thursday, 20th July, 2017 in front of Bookshop House,Marina, Lagos, where his Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Africa is domiciled to demand for his release. Addressing the protest, Mr.Ayo Ademiluyi, his lawyer, stated that” his arrest and detention is illegal and he should be released unconditionally”