Nigerian News

Nine Oyo #EndSARS protesters released after 3 years

The Evangelist
January 10, 2023

Nine persons arrested and detained in Oyo Agodi Prison since 2020 have regained their freedom on Tuesday.

The PUNCH reports that the ‘Oyo9’ whose names are: Adeshina Muyiwa, Ikechuckwu Eze, Ariyo Sodiq, Ikenna Amaechi, Oyewole Olumide, Ariyo Afeez, Taoreed Abiodun, Adekunle Moruf, and Rasheed Tiamiyu, were charged for offences ranging from murder to stealing of police rifles, setting the police station ablaze, among others, in connection to the 2020 protest against the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Nigeria Force.

The PUNCH also reports that this is coming barely 24 hours after the Oyo State Chief Judge ordered the release of 58 detainees who had spent long periods in the state prisons.

The PUNCH had also reported barely three months ago, (October, 2022), that about 39 persons arrested in connection to the #EndSARS protest were still languishing in prison.

Five days after the report, two of them were released from Lagos Kiri Kiri Maximum Prison.

Releasing some inmates on Monday, the Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Munga Abimbola, had declared that prolonged detention was a breach of people’s constitutional right, reiterating that the stand of the law is that a “person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

The CJ made this declaration at the Agodi Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service, where he visited, as part of a three-day tour of prisons within the state.

Confirming the release of the nine persons, an activist and the Oyo State leader of the Take It Back Movement, an organisation that had been calling for the release of the Oyo nine, Solomon Emiola, told The PUNCH, “We are just returning from the prison, the nine of them have gone home with their families.”

The TIB members had yesterday protested the continued detention of the Oyo9 following the release of the 58 detainees. They maintained that the Oyo9 should have been part of the people to be released.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, could not be reached for comments, as calls to his known line did not go through.

The News Agency of Nigeria also confirmed the release of the nine persons to our correspondent, noting that they were pardoned and released as a part of the exercise being conducted by the State Chief Judge to decongest the prisons. (PUNCH)

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