Ruling in the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of Deji Adeyanju, convener of Concerned Nigerians, at the High Court in Abuja was stalled as presiding judge, Justice Danladi Senchi, returned the case file to the Chief Judge.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the court varied its ruling, which was granted on December 21, 2018, for the immediate release of the activist.
The judge said the issues before him were misrepresentation of the fact.
Senchi said he would refer the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment after his role as vacation judge in the matter came to an end.
Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to Adeyanju, who was absent in the court, had filed a suit seeking the enforcement of Adeyanju’s fundamental human rights.
A Kano Magistrate Court on the same day ruled that Adeyanju be remanded in prison custody after declining jurisdiction to hear the case. The ruling, however, contradicted the ruling of the FCT High Court that set him free.
Justice Sandhi ruled that the allegations brought against him do not warrant his being kept in detention, and therefore ordered his immediate and unconditional release by the Police.
Speaking to journalists at the court, Dare Ariyo Atoye, Coordinator of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution and member of the Free Deji Campaign movement, said the movement would not be perturbed with the setback on the matter. He said they were aware that there would be challenges on getting freedom for Adeyanju and restated the group's commitment to securing his release.
"We are not perturbed and we are not worried about the outcome of this ruling because there will always be challenges in this journey to see our brother released," he said. "It's part of the challenges we just have to face. We are grateful to the court one way or the other, but we will consult with our lawyers to know the next thing to do."
Atoye urged the judiciary to remain focused, saying tyranny is unfolding in the country and it is only the judiciary that can reverse the ugly trend. He regretted that the country is sliding into police state and therefore encouraged Nigerians not to give up."
He noted that despite being in detention, Deji Adeyanju has continued to receive awards from different organisations. He said he won the Most Courageous Activist of the Year 2018 award by DAAR Communication and another award by Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).