Another Protest BREAKS OUT In Lagos, Urgent Demands Made

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The protesters gathered at the front of the court with placards lambasting the Nigeria Police Force for disobeying court orders directing that the detainee should be released.

Members of the Coalition of Civil Society organisations in collaboration with the Women Arise for Change platform on Thursday staged a protest at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos against the continued detention of Ayotunde Richard, a gospel singer and former member of Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries (MFM).

The protesters gathered at the front of the court with placards lambasting the Nigeria Police Force for disobeying court orders directing that the detainee should be released.

They praised Ayotunde Richards and demanded his immediate release.

One of the protesters told SaharaReporters that the police were being used by the founder of MFM church, Pastor Daniel Olukoya to oppress citizens. He asked if the police had a stake in the church.

The protester said, “The police are being used by Olukoya to oppress the citizens. Is the Nigeria Police Force a stakeholder in the Mountain Of Fire Ministry church? Why are they so concerned with what people are saying about the activities of Olukoya in the MFM church?

“Members and ex-members are crying out against the atrocities going on inside MFM and instead of the government to look into the crimes against humanity going on inside MFM, the police are suing victims of the leadership of the church.

“Olukoya has been clamping down on anyone who tries to expose his atrocities as the leader of the church, either with lawsuits or police arrests and detentions. Even bloggers abroad are not left out. He takes them to court using his pastor and branches abroad.

“We are calling on President Bola Tinubu’s administration to investigate the activities of MFM and Olukoya.”

Justice Ambrose Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State, had ordered that Ayotunde Richards should be remanded at Ikoyi Custodial Centre.

This is pending the hearing of Ayotunde Richards’ bail application scheduled for Wednesday.

His counsel, Mr Adesina Ogunlana told SaharaReporters on Monday that his client was charged and arraigned before the court earlier in the day.

“Ayotunde Richards will be brought back to the court before Justice Allagoa on Wednesday for his bail application.

“Also today, he was at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja for his own case before Justice D.T. Olatokun. That was for his fundamental human rights application and that was adjourned to April 29, 2024,” Ogunlana said.

The Nigeria Police Force had filed charges against Ayotunde Richards over a petition from Davidson Adejuwon, who is a lawyer and reportedly an aide to the MFM church founder, Olukoya.

SaharaReporters reported the arrest of Ayotunde last Monday.

In the petition, the lawyer accused Ayotunde Richards and others of sundry acts of cyberbullying and making libellous claims against Olukoya.

Davidson filed the petition as counsel for one Mrs Sanni, an aide to Olukoya reportedly saddled with the cleric’s social media concerns about Olukoya.

The petition was not filed on behalf of Olukoya.

Ayotunde Richards had also filed a suit against Olukoya over an alleged breach of his fundamental human rights.

Other respondents in the case are Davison Olaniran Adejuwon Esq; Superintendent of Police Tawose Ayoleyi Ajayi and the Nigeria Police Force.

Olukoya, Davidson, Ajayi and the Nigeria Police Force are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents respectively.

Ayotunde who was the leader of the cleric’s backup singers alleged that Olukoya used his influence to get him locked up at the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon, Ikoyi for eight days.

He described his detention by the police as illegal, oppressive and a brazen abuse of power.

SaharaReporters reported last Friday that Justice Olatokun of the High Court in Ikeja had ordered the immediate release of Ayotunde.

This was confirmed to SaharaReporters in a video by his lawyer, Adesina Ogunlana.

However, the police refused to comply with the order.

Documents recently obtained by SaharaReporters show that 12 counts bordering on cyberbullying and libel were filed against Ayotunde Richards at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The charges were filed on March 11, 2024 by N. W. Uhumwangho, Esq., prosecuting counsel and Senior Legal Officer at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) in Yaba, Lagos.

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