Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/506/3295
The Socialist 17 October 2007 |
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Students on trumped-up charges
THREE NIGERIAN student activists from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife Ife, are in jail on made-up charges including conspiracy to murder and attempted murder.
Two are members of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), the Socialist Party's sister organisation in Nigeria, Taiwo Hassan Soweto, secretary, DSM OAU branch and coordinator, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), and Olatunde Dairo, OAU students union public relations officer. OAU students union president Saburi Akande Akinola has been held since 31 July.
The murder charges relate to protests in 2004 during which an OAU student was killed by the police. The attempted murder charges relate to a former vice-chancellor, who has up to now made no accusations against these student activists. These are clearly politically motivated charges aimed at wrecking OAU's students union.
The OAU campus was closed and Taiwo Hassan Soweto and Olatunde Dairo arrested two days after a student mass meeting agreed a lecture boycott for 17-18 October to press demands including Saburi's release from imprisonment. The campus closure and arrests are management's attempt to forestall the students' planned action.
The DSM demands the immediate release of all three OAU activists and asks for urgent protests and solidarity.
Send protest letters to:
- Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) at email@example.com
- OAU Vice-Chancellor – firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
As some of these email addresses may not accept protests, copies of protests within the UK should also be sent to: Nigerian embassy, Nigeria House, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2 5BX. Telephone 020 7839 1244. Fax 020 7839 8746.
Send copies of all protest letters to the DSM (CWI, Nigeria) at firstname.lastname@example.org