No fewer than two leaders of the striking non-academic workers at the University of Lagos have been arrested.
It was learnt that the union leaders were arrested between 01:30am and 2.00am by different security operative teams simultaneously on Thursday.
Among those identified to have been arrested are a leader of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, UNILAG chapter, Prince Oriwaye Adefolalu; and another Union leader, Mr. Adekola Adetomiwa.
While Adefolalu was arrested in Ikorodu, Adetomiwa was arrested at Iwaya area of Yaba.
It was gathered that they were arrested by security operatives from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Ikeja.
When the union leaders, led by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), visited the SCID, Ikeja, the officer on duty said, “their (union leaders) arrest is an order from above.”
The officer, who refused to give his name, advised Falana to contact the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, saying he was the only one that can order their release.
On his part, Falana argued that the arrest was illegal and could amount to a serious legal action.
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Chairman of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, Kehinde Ajibade, condemned the arrests, adding that “the action could lead to chaos on the UNILAG campus.”
When contacted, the spokesperson of the university, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, said the management of the UNILAG knew nothing about the arrests.
According to a family source, the security operatives who invaded Adefolalu’s residence around midnight, allegedly held the members of his family hostage until he was forced to open the door.
The source said, “The security men who came with guns and clutching their walkie-talkies identified themselves to the landlords that they were from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Ikeja Division and acting on ‘orders from above.”
Earlier in his Facebook post on January 10, Adefolalu hinted that he was invited for a “security meeting” at a Lagos State Police Command but disregarded it because the invitation was sent through a text message.
“I couldn’t bother to return the text, because I believe if the Commissioner of Police would invite me for security meeting, it shouldn’t be through a text message. I begin to sense a foul play,” he said.
However, his younger brother, Prince Adebusuyi, has demanded his release.
It will be recalled that as a result of the lingering union crisis, the UNILAG, on Tuesday, postponed indefinitely its convocation ceremony for the 2016/2017 academic session.
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