The Department Of State Security (DSS), Oshogbo division, has transferred Olawale Adebayo (Mandate) to Abuja during this week after 19 days of unlawful detention, Tmkonzept can confirm.
It should be recalled that Tmkonzept reported earlier that Olawale Adebayo is one of the #RevolutionNow protesters that was arrested in Oshogbo on the 5th of August. He was arrested alongside three other students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), a UniOsun lecturer, and two members of the Take It Back Movement. However, other arrested protesters were released few days after the arrest but the DSS have chosen to keep Mandate in detention for reasons best known to them.
Efforts made by several authorities and persons to secure his release are being frustrated by the DSS. In a related development the DSS has also refused to allow anyone see him, including his lawyer. However, his co-detainee who shared same confinement with him and was released two weeks ago confirmed that Mandate was not in a good state of health before he left the cell, he further stated that Mandate has been subjected to varying degrees of torture by the hard-wired security operatives.
In another development, a source who chose to speak under anonymity has revealed that the prolonged detention of Mandate might be linked to the strategic clampdown of the university management on campus activists – with Mandate being a prominent one. The source further stated that Mandate’s prolonged detention is being influenced by certain power brokers in the University’s helm of affairs. Already, the strategic victimisation of campus activists through portal deactivation, unlawful arrests, detention and arraignment with the aid of external forces such as DSS and the judiciary is a trend synonymous with the Ogunbodede-led administration.
Although, the university has denied influencing the detention and arraignment of the protesting students in a news published on OAUkilonshele on Monday, but, the circular earlier released on August 5 by the Dean Of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Aransi, gives a contrast to such denial. The circular which reads on the fourth paragraph; “Any student involved in the protest would have himself/herself to blame.
One then would begin to wonder how the university can affirmatively state that students protesting outside it’s jurisdiction would have themselves to blame if does not already have an unholy alliance with the security operatives and the judiciary.
On March 21, 2018, the Vice-chancellor orchestrated the arrest of five students, through the campus security, for protesting against his eviction order at Moremi hall, and subsequently they were detained in Koshere prison for seven days with stringent bail conditions. However, after an outpour of public criticism, he denied involvement in their arrest, the university even went further to state that the students were directly arrested by the policemen, when video evidences showed the arrest was done by campus security operatives who later handed them over to the police force for arraignment and disciplinary actions.
The kill-and-deny approach can be said to be another strategic tactics of the university management to victimise campus activists.
The Constitution of Nigeria stipulates that a suspect should not be detained for more than forty-eight hours without trial, however, Mandate has been held in detention for over 19 days without a court trial. Recently, the DSS lawyer had tried to dissuade Mandate’s lawyer from filing a court order for his bail, stating that the DSS would not honour such bail. Already, the DSS has built a reputation of disregarding court orders.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Ayo Ademiluyi Esq, has condemned the prolonged detention of Mandate as a gross violation of his fundamental human rights. ‘In the first instance, he has spent excessive days in Oshogbo’s cell, his transfer to Abuja is an infringement on his natural liberty and a further testament that the Buhari-led administration has no respect for democratic rights’, Ayo Ademiluyi said.
As at the time of filing this report, all efforts to reach the DSS Oshogbo division and the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University proved abortive.
The coming week would make it exactly three weeks that Mandate has been held in detention without any trial. A media campaign has been launched by several bodies with the hashtag: #FreeMandate