Nine people arrested and detained at Oyo Agodi Prison since 2020 were released on Tuesday.
The PUNCH reports that the ‘Oyo9’ whose names are: Adeshina Muyiwa, Ikechuckwu Eze, Ariyo Sodiq, Ikenna Amaechi, Oyewole Olumide, Ariyo Afeez, Taoreed Abiodun, Adekunle Moruf and Rasheed Tiamiyu, have been charged with crimes ranging from murder to theft of police rifles, setting fire to the police station, among others, in connection with the 2020 protest against the defunct unit of the Nigerian Special Force Anti-Robbery Squad.
PUNCH also reports that this comes just 24 hours after the Oyo state presiding judge ordered the release of 58 detainees who had spent long periods in state prisons.
PUNCH had also reported just three months ago (October 2022), that some 39 people arrested in connection with the #EndSARS protest were still languishing in prison.
Five days after the report, two of them were released from Lagos Kiri Kiri Maximum Prison.
Releasing some inmates on Monday, Oyo State Presiding Judge Munga Abimbola declared prolonged detention a violation of the constitutional right of individuals, reiterating that the law’s position is that “a person presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The CJ made the statement at the Nigeria Correctional Service’s Agodi Custody Facility, where he visited, as part of a three-day tour of prisons within the state.
Confirming the release of the nine people, an Oyo State activist and leader of the Take It Back Movement, an organization that had been calling for the release of the Oyo nine, Solomon Eniola, told The PUNCH: “We are just coming back from prison, all nine have gone home to their families.”
The state Attorney General and Justice Commissioner, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, could not be reached for comment as calls to his known line did not go through.
The Nigerian News Agency also confirmed the release of the nine people to our correspondent, noting that they were pardoned and released as part of the exercise carried out by the Chief State Judge to decongest prisons.