Nigeria Police have explained that the convener of a civil society group known as Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, the and others have been arrested over what was termed hate speech, as displayed in public notices they issued.
Some of the notices, which the police posted are as follows: “the romance between APC (ruling All Progressives Congress) and police is unholy,” “police is not a department of APC,” “we just want police to be neutral in this election,” “who killed Offa robbery prime suspect?”
In a statement today, Wednesday, the Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said that while the police respect the rights of every Nigerian to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of movement as essentials of democracy provided for by the 1999 constitution, as amended, particularly sections 38, 39, 40 and 41, the Force believed that such rights must be observed with decorum, in good faith and without violating the rights of other millions of Nigerians to free movement and access to safety and security across the Country.
Jimoh Moshood, in the statement, said that Deji Adeyanju, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams were arrested within the powers provided under the constitution, Police Act and Regulations, the Penal Code Law and Procedures to prevent crime and ensure safety of all Nigerians.
“The Constitutional rights of every Nigerian as stated in first paragraph above i.e Sections 38, 39, 40 and 41, these rights are not absolute as section 45 of the same Constitution provides for derogations to these rights.
“Deji Adeyanju, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams contravene the law and were arrested for Criminal Conspiracy, Joint Act, defamation of character, public nuisance, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, disturbance of public peace, inciting public disturbance, threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituent authority and breach of law and order under sections 96, 113, 114, 152, 183 and 391 of Penal Code law.”
The police spokesman said that those who were arrested have already been arraigned in court in Abuja for prosecution.