Popular Nigerian political activist, Deji Adeyanju, has been remanded in prison until February 2019, after a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kano on Friday, took his plea and concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear murder charges against him.
Recall that Police arrested Adeyanju on December 13, accusing him of being complicit in a murder case from the 2000s. He had been discharged and acquitted by the Kano State High Court following a lengthy trial that lasted between 2005 and 2009.
Police had held Adeyanju in detention without charges for five days before moving him to Kano earlier this week.
According to PREMIUM TIMES, the police in Abuja on Friday, the Police arraigned Adeyanju before Hassan Fagge on December 19, but ordered his remand and scheduled today for bail hearing.
But when the court opened at about 9:42 a.m. Friday, Fagge said he had determined that he lacked the power to hear the homicide charges brought against Adeyanju by the police, but said the political activist should be remanded in prison until February 6 when a higher court could be available to hear the matter.
While speaking to PT after Adeyanju was subsequently moved to Kano Central Prison, his lawyer, Yusuf Suleiman, on Friday afternoon, condemned the move as a desperate move by the Nigerian government to suppress a major critic a few weeks to the election.
“This is clearly an attempt to keep him unlawfully in detention,” Suleiman said, adding that the matter was concluded nearly 10 years ago and should not have been picked up again by the police, much less taken back to court.
Suleiman said the police in Kano are playing politics with Adeyanju’s fundamental rights in a gruesome assault on the Nigerian Constitution.
“After detaining him in Abuja for several days without arraignment, in violation of the Constitution that gives a maximum 48 years for such detention, they now charged him for attempted murder which the magistrate said he has no power to hear.
“Now a lower court is hearing a matter that the Kano State High Court had decided long ago,” Suleiman said.