Rights groups commend Oyebanji, IG, over release of detained Ayegunle Chiefs

Ogunsakin Mustapha
3 Min Read
Biodun Oyebanji, Ekiti State Governor

The Nigerian Human Rights Community, NIHRCO has hailed the release of detained Chiefs of Ayegunle, an ancestral community in Ijero Local Government area of Ekiti State.

The local leaders were arrested two months ago and kept in detention allegedly on the orders of the traditional ruler of the ancient community.

The Nigerian Human Rights Community, NIRCO urged the State Government to drop the charges against the Chiefs adding that they were trumped up to settle primordial scores. Last Monday, the Chiefs had spent two months and eight days in prison custody.

Four Chiefs were granted bail by a High Court pending 31st August when they will appear before the Chief Magistrate Court where the charge was filed. The Director of Public Prosecution, DPP said they have no case to answer. The other eight defendants were earlier granted bail by a Chief Magistrate Court.

The community alleged that Oba Johnson Folorunso Aderiye the Alayegunle of Ekiti is responsible for their plight. He was also accused of suspending a prominent Chief in the town, Chief Eesa without any credible reason.

In a statement in Wednesday, the NIHRCO, a coalition of over 100 civil society groups from across Nigeria said the release of the Chiefs marks a turning point in the community’s determination to stand up to local despots who want to use state institutions to oppress and intimidate credible people and voices that stand up to a bullying authority.

The group said the mass rallies that welcomed the release of the Chies indicated that they were fighting for a just cause.

“We commend the State Governor, Abiodun Oyebanji, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and the Ekiti State judiciary for ensuring that justice has its way” the statement signed by NIHRCO official Taiwo Adeleye and Jude Ekeocha said.

The following chiefs were remanded in prison for the past more than two months: Chief Pius Ogunlusi,Eesinkin of Ayegunle, Chief Ayodele Omoniyi, (the Odofin of Ayegunle), Chief Ojo Omokanju, (the Eesaya of Ayegunle Ekiti), Ajewole Joseph,(Ayegunle Youth leader) and one of the youths that traditional ruler held hostage is Oni Adebayo.

The group said it has set up a Monitoring Team made up of lawyers and human rights activists in Ekiti and across Nigeria to monitor the activities of the monarch in relationship to the safety and wellbeing of the Chiefs and youths who have been targets of royal assaults.

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