A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kano on Friday remanded Deji Adeyanju in prison until February 6, 2019 after taking his plea and concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear murder charges against the political activist.
The police had rearrested Mr Adeyanju on December 13, accusing him of being complicit in a murder case from the 2000s.
Adeyanju was reportedly held in detention without charges for five days before moving him to Kano earlier this week.
The police in Kano arraigned him 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 am Friday, Mr Fagge said he had determined that he lacked the power to hear the homicide charges brought against Mr 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.
Mr Adeyanju was subsequently moved to Kano Central Prison.
Speaking to newsmen, his lawyer, Yusuf Suleiman, condemned the move as an act of desperation 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,” Mr 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.
The lawyer said efforts would be made to free Mr Adeyanju from custody before the February 6 adjourned date, including approaching a high court to immediately review the case.
In a related development, Adebayo Raphael, national secretary of OurMumuDonDo movement, said in a WhatsApp message to DAILY POST that the FCT High Court in Jabi same day ordered Mr Adeyanju’s immediate release from police custody.