Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has demanded for the release of the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Council in Ogun State, Wale Adedayo, from the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS).
This call comes in the wake of a controversy surrounding accusations made by Adedayo against the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
Last week, Adedayo accused Governor Abiodun of diverting the statutory allocations intended for the 20 local governments in Ogun State. These allegations led to a swift denial from the state government.
Falana in a statement, said Adedayo was subsequently invited by the Ogun State Command of the DSS to address the allegations. On Friday, when Adedayo appeared at the DSS office in response to the invitation, he was confronted with the petition filed against him by the state government.
Falana urged the DSS to release Mr. Adedayo from its custody, stating the importance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring that individuals’ rights are protected, even in the face of contentious allegations.
He also advised Governor Abiodun to consider pursuing legal action for libel if he believes his reputation has been tarnished by Mr. Adedayo’s accusations.
“Last week, the Chairman of the Ijebu East Local Government, Ogun State, Mr. Wale Adedayo accused the State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun of diverting the statutory allocations of the 20 local governments in the State. Shortly thereafter, the Council boss was invited by the Ogun State Command of the State Security Service (SSS),” the statement reads.
“However, when he turned up for the invitation on 1st September 2023, he was asked to respond to the petition submitted to the Command by the State Government.
“In the said petition, it was alleged that Mr. Adedayo had instigated widespread acts of public disturbance and chaos in Ijebu East Local Government. Even though the embattled Council boss denied the allegation of instigating acts of public disturbance, the State Security Service has decided to detain him due to his refusal to withdraw the allegation levelled against Governor Abiodun
“Even though the Ogun State Government has denied the allegation of funds diversion, Governor Abiodun is advised to sue Mr. Wale Adedayo for libel in the Ogun State High Court. In similar circumstances, two of his predecessors, the late Governor Olabisi Onabanjo had sued the National Concord newspaper for libel in the Ogun State High Court in 1981 while Governor Segun Osoba sued the Punch Newspaper for defamation of character in the Ogun State High Court in 2001. Both Governors won the libel suits.
“Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this particular case, I am compelled to request the Ogun State Command of the SSS to release Mr. Adedayo from custody forthwith.”