December 3, 2020

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Police illegally detain student for a month for leading protest

2 min read

For a month now, the Nigeria Police Force has continued to illegally detain Moyinoluwa Olowoyo, 26, for leading #EndSARS protest against police brutality in Ekiti State.

Mr Olowoyo, a student of Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, was arrested on October 20 at the peaceful protest that took place at the state capital.

Following the arrest, he was taken to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja on October 22. He was kept in detention illegally for a week.

The police on October 29, returned Mr Olowoyo to the custody of the Ekiti Police State CID in Ado-Ekiti. He has since then been kept in detention.

Distraught mother

Mr Olowoyo’s brother, Olayemi, told PREMIUM TIMES that their mother, Rebecca Olowoyo, has been sick following the incident.

“My mum has been sick following my brother’s arrest and she’s currently being attended to at a state-owned hospital,” he said.

“He (Moyinoluwa) was picked on 20th of October 2020 at the peaceful #EndSARS held in Ado Ekiti and since then he has been in detention. He was first moved to Abuja and he was ‘secretly’ moved back to Ado Ekiti.”

PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that the police have denied the family access to the suspect.

“My father went once and he saw him. Since then, we’ve been denied the opportunity to see him. We are calling all Nigerians to help demand my brother’s release,” Mr Olayemi said.

This newspaper on Thursday repeatedly called Frank MBA, the spokesman of the Nigerian police, but he did not respond to the calls. He also ignored text messages from PREMIUM TIMES.

Sunday Abutu, the Ekit State Police Command spokesperson, also failed to respond to calls and text messages from this newspaper.

The nation’s laws prescribe a maximum of 48 hours for suspects to be held before they are either released, charged to court or their detention extended via a court order. The Nigerian police have continued to flout thus constitutional right over the years without sanctions from the governments.

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Mr Olowoyo has been in detention for a month.

In the aftermath of the recent protests against police brutality, the Nigerian government has gone after perceived leaders of the protest which later degenerated into violence when infiltrated by hoodlums who looted public and private property. The government, apart from detaining some of the protests ‘leaders’, also froze their bank accounts.

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