Human rights lawyer , Mr Inibehe Effiong, says the Department of State Services has arrested his client who is also a campus journalist , Ayoola Babalola, for allegedly publishing articles critical of the President, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari ( retd. ) , and All Progressives Congress chieftain , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Effiong made the allegation during a chat with Sunday PUNCH .
He explained that Babalola , a student of Mass Communications at Gateway Polytechnic , Abeokuta , was the editor of a campus newspaper known as “ GAMPOSA Trumpet”.
In the 2019 edition of the newspaper in November 2019, the newspaper published an article titled , “President Buhari does not believe in Nigeria ” which was written by Apostle Alfred Tseye- Okotie .
In the article , it was stated that the Buhari regime did not want Nigeria to be good .
In a second article titled , “Will EFCC investigate Chief Bola Tinubu?” it was insinuated that the EFCC may not act on the petition it received as regards the alleged cash- laden bullion vans seen in Tinubu’ s Lagos home on the eve of the 2019 general elections.
In a third article written by Femi Adeyeye in October 2019 titled , “Sowore , An Equal Opportunity Offender” , the newspaper wrote glowingly of Sahara Reporters Publisher , Omoyele Sowore , who was at the time being detained by the DSS for allegedly planning a revolution against the government.
In a statement later , Effiong said, “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 the editor .
“Babalola recently graduated from the Gateway Polytechnic located in Sapaade , Ogun State, where he read Mass Communications.
“The articles which were deemed critical of President Buhari , APC Leader , Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the EFCC also led to the dismissal of a lecturer of Gateway Polytechnic who served as the producer of the campus newspaper .”
Effiong alleged that Babalola was arrested on Thursday in Abeokuta by the DSS and taken before a Magistrate Court on Friday.
“His appeal to the DSS 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 Abeokua where he was remanded by the court , ” the lawyer said.
He said Babalola was arraigned on six counts bordering on alleged incitement , conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace and others for allegedly publishing critical articles against President Buhari .
It was stated that Babalola had informed his lawyers of the plans of the DSS to arrest him even before the actual arrest happened.
The Spokesman for the DSS , Peter Afunaya, neither responded to calls nor a text message on Saturday .
“I condemn this despotic and needless actions by the SSS . 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 , ” Effiong said.