Barely 24 hours after releasing a former Politics Editor with Daily Trust Newspaper, Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, the Department of State Services on Wednesday arrested him again in Kaduna State.
Dan-Halilu was arrested on Sunday for supporting the #RevolutionNow movement led by SaharaReporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore.
A source close to the journalist said, “Dan-Halilu was arrested on Sunday and then released on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday, the DSS guys picked him up again, saying they had been given orders from Abuja to detain him.”
The spokesman for the DSS, Peter Afunnaya, told newsmen that he was not aware of the arrest.
Dan-Halilu had in a post on Facebook lamented the spate of killings, the high rate of poverty, the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint persons with questionable character as ministers and the inability of the government to satisfactorily account for the manner in which the recovered $320m Abacha loot was spent, among others.
The post read in part, “Somebody asked me why we need a revolution now, this was my reply: The aim of the revolution is to challenge the uncommon hardship, why we have 16 million children on the street; challenge why we have become the poverty capital of the world; challenge why we have 20 persons with corrupt cases as federal legislators and would-be ministers.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State judiciary says it did not order magistrates in the state not to grant bail to protesters of the #RevolutionNow movement.
In a statement on Wednesday, the state judiciary said the chief registrar, Olukayode Ogunjobi, did not instruct Magistrate A.O. Komolafe of the Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court, in whose court some of the #RevolutionNow protesters were arraigned, to refuse the defendants bail.
The state judiciary made the assertion, following a report by SaharaReporters, that the Lagos State court authorities had instructed Komolafe not to approve the bail of the #RevolutionNow protesters.
“The fulfilment of bail conditions is purely at the instance of the defendants after the court has stated the conditions and in this particular case, the defendants are in the process of complying with the bail conditions,” the statement said.
SaharaReporters had reported earlier on Wednesday that the state judiciary ordered the magistrate not to sign the bail conditions and that the protesters would be transferred to the Kirikiri Prison for the time being.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Police Command dragged before an Osogbo Chief Magistrates Court, five men for participating in the #RevolutionNow protest.
One of those arraigned on Wednesday was a 29-year-old lecturer in Osun State University, Osogbo, Temitope Fagunwa.
Appearing before Magistrate A.O Ajanaku, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Felix Okafor, told the court that Fagunwa, Olawale Owolabi, Olufemi Johnson, Olaoluwa Owoeye, Stephen Omoloye and others at large on August 5 around 1.30pm at Ola Iya area, Osogbo allegedly “conspired to commit offences relating to unlawful assembly and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the three counts of breach of peace, unlawful assembly and conspiracy.
The defence counsel, Mr Alfred Adegoke, urged the court to commit the accused to bail in the most liberal terms.
The prosecutor did not oppose the bail application for the accused.
Ruling on the application, Ajanaku granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 and one surety each in like sum.
She subsequently adjourned the matter till October 16 for hearing.
In Ogun State, an Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court sitting in Isabo on Wednesday ordered that four #RevolutionNow protesters arrested by police be remanded in prison pending the time they perfect their bail application.
The four accused – Daniel Abraham, 29, Afofun Festus ,18, Kolawole Seun, 25, and Okoro Romeo, 38 – were arraigned by police in the state for allegedly engaging in an unlawful Assembly.
They however pleaded not guilty to the three counts of unlawful assembly and conduct likely to cause breach of the public peace.
The magistrate, Olarenwaju Onagoruwa, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 each withe two sureties in like sum.
He thereafter adjourned the case till August 15 for definite hearing.
Also, Human Rights Watch has asked the Federal Government to either charge Sowore to court or release him unconditionally.
It stated that the continued detention of Sowore and other protesters by the DSS signified Federal Government’s growing intolerance and intention to shut down dissent.
But Human Rights Watch researcher, Anietie Ewang, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “If Omoyele Sowore has been arrested in an attempt to stop the protests he helped to organize, that would be a damning indication of the government’s increasing intolerance for critical voices.”
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