Late on Friday, January 24, 2020, I was alerted that my client, Mr Ayoola Babalola, a courageous student activist and young journalist, was arrested and charged to court for allegedly publishing certain articles in a campus newspaper called GAPOSA Trumpet in which he served as Editor.
Babalola recently graduated from the Gateway Polytechnic located in Sapaade, Ogun State, where he read Mass Communication.
The said articles deemed critical of President Buhari, All Progressives Congress Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also led to the dismissal of a lecturer of Gateway Polytechnic, who served as producer of the campus newspaper.
Babalola was arrested on Thursday in Abeokuta by the Department of State Services and taken before a magistrate court on Friday.
His appeal to the SSS for him to be allowed to contact me as his counsel was rebuffed. Mr Babalola was only able to contact me through a third party from the Ibara Maximum Prison in Abeokuta where he was remanded by the court.
I understand that he was arraigned on a six-count charge bothering on alleged incitement, conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace and so on for allegedly publishing critical articles against President Buhari.
The said articles also related to the travails of the leader of the RevolutionNow movement, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and student activist, Comrade Femi Adeyeye.
Before his secret arrest and arraignment, Mr Ayoola briefed me over repressive actions, which he believed Gateway Polytechnic may likely take against him over the articles that he published.
Mr Babalola also intimated me that the DSS were possibly trailing him because of the said articles.
I condemn this despotic and needless actions by the DSS. It is a shame that at a time the country is battling serious security challenges, the DSS rather than protect Nigeria, is paranoid about any form of criticism against the Buhari regime.
The DSS has continued to expose the country to public and international ridicule over its flagrant violation of the rights of Nigerians and shameless disregard for the rule of law and democratic ethos.
The DSS will not be allowed to turn Nigeria into a police state. We will face them squarely in court.
All legal options will be explored to secure the release of Babalola and safeguard his legal and constitutional rights.
Tyranny will not win.