Abbey Trotsky arrested again, this time by DSS
Abbey was released from the Ibadan office of the Department of State Service (DSS) on the evening of Sunday June 9.
The secret police claimed that he was only invited for questioning and asked him to help stop the further spread of the news that he was arrested on social media.
Obviously as experience has repeated shown, this development does not mean the end of harassment. We will continue to send updates on any new developments.
We have received urgent news that Abbey has been re-arrested this afternoon (June 9) in Ibadan by the Department of State Service (DSS), the secret police.
He was picked up while holding the regular monthly meeting of the Ibadan branch of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) which included casual/contract workers from Sumal Food Ltd to discuss a campaign against casualisation/contract staffing. This meeting was being held in the Ibadan office of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
Apparently Abbey’s movements were being trailed. Fortunately, a comrade who is a lawyer was with him when he was arrested and he is now on the way to the office of the secret police. Also, we are now again reaching out to our collaborators in the labour movement, civil society and lawyers to intervene.
Recall that Abbey was arraigned last Friday at a Magistrate Court in Iyaganku Ibadan, Oyo State, on four court charges but he was granted bail and regained his freedom same day. Today’s arrest shows the company and the compromised NUFBTE union leaders are not going to give up easily. That Abbey was arrested while a meeting to discuss workers planned actions on their conditions of service was going on also confirms that this persecution is connected to fear of a renewed upsurge of struggle in the factory.
Last Friday, June 7, charging of Abbey came after he went to meet the police for the so-called physical investigation at the Sumal Foods Ltd in Ibadan, Oyo state, which had been agreed at the end of an interview with the police AIG Zone II (2) the previous day in Osogbo. On Friday this so-called physical investigation has turned out to a ploy to charge Abbey to court.
Then Abbey was arraigned on four charges on Friday morning,
The four charges Abbey faces are conspiracy to commit breach of public peace, unlawful assembly, assault and malicious damage” subject to sections 516, 517, 70, 249 (D) and 355 of the criminal code of the laws of Oyo state of Nigeria. Technically it seems that, if convicted on all four counts, Abbey could face a jail term of up to 13 years.
Previously in January the Department of State Service (DSS) detained Abbey for about six hours at its Ibadan office. At that time Abbey was standing in the general elections as the gubernatorial candidate of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) in Oyo State, but was formally invited for questioning over his leading role in helping organise thousands of casual workers at Sumal Food Ltd in Ibadan. In October last year Abbey Trotsky and the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) provided leadership for the casual workers who had gone on strike over poor pay and slave conditions. The struggle that lasted for three days won important concessions.