Nine #Endsars protesters arrested and detained in Oyo Agodi Prison since 2020 regained their freedom on Tuesday.
The ‘Oyo9’ whose names are: Adeshina Muyiwa, Ikechuckwu Eze, Ariyo Sodiq, Ikenna Amaechi, Oyewole Olumide, Ariyo Afeez, Taoreed Abiodun, Adekunle Moruf, and Rasheed Tiamiyu.
They were charged with offenses ranging from murder to stealing police rifles and setting the police station ablaze, among others, in connection to the 2020 protest against the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Nigeria Force.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Oyo State Chief Judge ordered the release of 58 detainees who had spent long periods in the state prisons.
Barely three months ago, (October 2022), about 39 persons arrested in connection to 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, the Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Munga Abimbola, had declared that prolonged detention was a breach of people’s constitutional right, reiterating that the stand of the law is that a “person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The CJ made this declaration at the Agodi Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service, which he visited, as part of a three-day tour of prisons within the state.
Confirming the release of the nine persons, an activist and the Oyo State leader of the Take It Back Movement, an organization that had been calling for the release of the Oyo nine, Solomon Emiola, told the media “We are just returning from the prison, the nine of them have gone home with their families.”
The TIB members had yesterday protested the continued detention of the Oyo9 following the release of the 58 detainees. They maintained that the Oyo9 should have been part of the people to be released.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, could not be reached for comments, as calls to his known line did not go through.
Other news agencies of Nigeria also confirmed the release of the nine persons to our correspondent, noting that they were pardoned and released as a part of the exercise being conducted by the State Chief Judge to decongest the prisons.