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NANS Gives 24 Hours Ultimatum Over Detained 13 UNILAG Students

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BY CHRIS EKEKE

Following the detention of  13 students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) the  National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has demanded for their release, giving 24 hours ultimatum.

The 13 students of the University of Lagos,  are currently being detained at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons at the instance of a Special Offences Mobile Court in Lagos.

The Mobile Court, had on Saturday remanded the 13 UNILAG students in Kirikiri Prisons, pending their bail application. The accused persons, standing trial before Chief Magistrate P.E. Nwaka, were alleged to have engaged in unlawful invasion of Television Continental in Lagos. They were arraigned on a two-count charge of unlawful invasion and disruption of activities and have all pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.

The accused are: Femi Adeyeye, Toni Aina, Kodri Yaya, Asimi Oladime, Ismahim Olalekan, Segun Okesola, Abdulazeez Soneye, Idris Abogunloko, and Muyiwa Olaniyi. Others are: Toheed Oladimeji, Joseph Akanni, Lukumon Olusegun, and Abiodun Agbeniyi.
The magistrate, who ordered that the accused be remanded in prison, adjourned the case till April 6 for a determination of their bail. But the President of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, yesterday, in Abuja,
condemned the action of the court which remanded the students in Kirikiri prisons.

He threatened to relocate the association’s headquarters to the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons in solidarity with its members, should government continued to keep them in captivity.
He said, “After a painstaking review of the circumstances surrounding the draconian ruling, we have resolved to demand and hereby demand the unconditional release of these students within 24 hours.
“Consequently, we make bold to state that if at the expiration of our 24 hours ultimatum, these innocent students are not released without strings, we shall relocate the Headquarters of NANS to Kirikiri in solidarity with our members.
“We also hope that the authorities would use the opportunity of the 24 hours ultimatum to either expand the facilities of Kirikiri prison or release our colleagues, as they can see we are serious and determined by offering them a fair choice.”
Obasi said if the best the Magistrate could do in the prevailing circumstances was to clamp university students to a prison facility and thereby unwittingly radicalise them, NANS shall help him to understand the implications of his unbalanced judgement that does not  tally with the offence allegedly committed.

He said, “Being first time offenders, the Magistrate, if ever he was once a university student, would have handed down a stern warning and demand of good behaviour instead of sending them to prison for
whatever reasons.

“In saner climes what the Magistrate should have done was to certify that the suspects are bonafide students and release them to their school authorities or student leaders. But rather than factor in the extenuating circumstances of their protest, the Magistrate apparently in a hurry to please some hidden forces, decided to blunt the proper
socialization of 13 Nigerian leaders of tomorrow.”

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