Lahbash and Dapo Abiodun

The founder and Publisher of Eaglesforesight, Mr Bashiru Hammed Adewale Olamilekan, otherwise known as Prince Lahbash, has embarked on hunger strike, he has been held for the past 136 days at ibara Correctional Center Abeokuta, while he will be 150 days in detention on the day of his next adjournment in October 6.

Lahbash, 34, has been on hunger strike to protesting for his prolonged detention in prison.

“Since the day my husband was detained, I haven’t slept for more than five hours at a time. My mind races all night and I keep praying. I’m always exhausted,” Lahbash wife, a soft-spoken mother-of-one, told our correspondent.

Her husband, 34-year-old Bashiru Hammed Adewale Olamilekan, the founder of Eaglesforesight, a citizen Journalist has been languishing in prison for over 136 days since his arrest in May, while he will be 150 days in detention by the day of his next adjournment in October 6.

Lahbash’s case has made headlines in local, national and international media outlets after he claimed that he had been intimidated and tortured including with beatings with sticks and rubber ropes, that had since then caused him internal injuries that needs serious medical attention.

“There is no humanity in their treatment. What they did to me is a stain of shame on the history of Nigeria security in Ogun State,” Lahbash said.

“It’s just like unjust administrative detention – they intentionally keep extending his detentions without mercy in the directives of the state Governor. This is the same thing,” said Comrade Aishat, in reference to Agba Jalingo controversial policy of detaining him for months by Cross-River state Governor.

Lahbash’s detention has come as part of one of the largest power tussling arrest related to a publication release against the state Governor, that exposed his pasts in United States.

However, Lahbash’s close friends and family says that his detention is kind of apolitical.

The nursing mother, wife of Lahbash- that has since held captived in Ibara prison also announced an open-ended hunger strike to raise attention in solidarity to join her husband that refuses to eat in prison.

My husband told me he has embarked on hunger strike, and that he isn’t going to call off until he is released as promised on his adjournment date.

To his family and friends, they believes Lahbash arrest is purely apolitical.

For its part, the government has said that the arrests are not politically motivated. The secretary to the state government, Mr Kunle Somorin, said in a press release published on The Punch, that “Gov Abiodun Not Behind Ogun Blogger’s Arrest”, and added that Lahbash arrest had come “in the context of addressing law and order, and to preserve civil peace over a false publication on his blogsite”.

Our correspondent attempts to contact the director of State Security Service to ask about the specifics of Lahbash’s ordeals in their custody, and the allegations of torture, but did not get a response by the time of publication.

In between blunt and bold statements, Lahbash’s friend breaks down in tears.

“What is happening is beyond our imaginations,” she cried. “He’s been in cell for almost four months, how is his mental health supposed to be?”

In the two 15-minute visits i have had with my friend since his detention, Lahbash friend said, as a way to encourage him, he focused on lifting his spirits, despite the profound pains he is facing.

“What can I tell my friend in 15 minutes? I would support him mentally and encourage him – telling him ‘We all love you,’ and to stay strong.”

SACRIFICING FOR HIS FAMILY

Lahbash used to be a gentle and hardworking person who has faced alot in life to meet up in providing for his family, Lahbash allies said.

“My husband would rather go extra miles in providing for his family rather than involving in any illegal jobs, noting that she had to take on more responsibilities in his absence, says Lahbash wife.

“The few months he hasn’t been around were very difficult, I focused on raising our son, which I was doing alone now, and working with my mother in the small supermarket we owned, before now he never allows me to stress myself with work, as he provides all alone even before I ask,” said Lahbash wife.

“People like Lahbash are honourable men who were imprisoned by power tussle politicians,” said his wife.

“Nigerians and the media houses are supposed to stand with them, help them to secure their release unconditionally.

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