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Lawyer decries unconstitutional arrest, detention of NLC leaders

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Lawyer decries unconstitutional arrest, detention of NLC leaders

I comprehensively and unconditionally condemn the unconstitutional and illegal arrest and detention of some of the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), both of Oyo State Chapters by the Police.

The exercise of constitutional rights should not be criminalized by a government that emerged under a constitutional order.

I have been informed by the leadership of the NLC/NUT that on 2nd June 2016, the following NLC/NUT leaders were invited by the Commissioner of Police to his office at Eleiyele about 9am and they are being currently detained at Iyaganku Police Station, Ibadan. 

They are:

NLC Chairman, Comrade Olojede,

NLC Secretary, Comrade Ogundeji, C. K.

NLC Vice Chairman, Comrade Sodo,

Kehinde Opalehin, leader of the Nigeria Union of Civil Service Union,

Comrade Oseni, and

Mrs Adegboku

Although no reason has been formally given for their arrest and detention, it may not be unconnected with their leadership of the peaceful open procession by the NLC/NUT on 1st June 2016 against the planned privatization of secondary schools in Oyo State. 

The NLC/NUT leadership formally requested for the presence of the police during the rally/procession, which was formally granted to ensure no breakdown of law and order took place.

I call for the immediate and unconditional release of Comrade Olojede and all the other persons mentioned above. 

They have merely exercised their constitutional right under section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, to organize and take peaceful action for the protection of the right to free secondary education guaranteed under section 18 of the Constitution.

To the NLC/NUT, may I publicly announce that my Chambers is ready to defend, in the court of law, the fundamental rights of the NLC/NUT leaders, free of charge.

Femi Aborisade, Esq.

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