Gani's memorial

The seventh anniversary of the demise of Nigeria’s famous lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi (Gani Fawehinmi), was marked on Moday.

Chief Fawehinmi passed away at the age of 71 on September 5, 2009 in a brief illness. In his lifetime, Gani was known as a fiery activist and a defender of human rights.

Gani, as he was popularly addressed, was described by many as a man who stood against tyrannical tendencies of military governments.

Like any other person who stood against military governments, Gani spent a couple of times in detention and in prisons before Nigeria’s return to democratic governance in 1999.

Late Fawehinmi was detained 32 times, eight of which led to imprisonment. He was detained six times during Yakubu Gowon’s regime, three times during Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime.

When he was asked why he detained Gani so many times retired Gen. Babangida deployed a sense of humour in his response. He was famously quoted saying:

“What kind of question is that? Every Nigerian president arrests Gani Fawehinmi. Why should my turn be different? It’s all in a day’s work. It’s just part of the job description.”

Gani’s first detention was in 1969 when he was detained at Police Headquarters in Kaduna.

DETENTIONS 1969 – 1996
Police Headquarters, Kaduna, 1969
Jos Police Station, 1969
Ilorin Police Station, 1969
Police Headquarters, Lagos, 1969
Police Headquarters, Lagos 1972 (twice)
C. I. D. Alagbon, Lagos, 1978
Inter-Centre Detention Outpost, Lagos, 1978
Ikoyi Police Station,1978
Panti Police Station, Lagos, 1987
Panti Police Station, Lagos, 1988 (three times)
Police Station Ikeja, 1988
Panti Police Station, Lagos, 1989 (twice)
Ikoyi Police Station, 1989
SSS Cell Maiduguri, 1989
SSS Cell Awolowo Road, Ikoyi 1991
C. I. D. Police Station Ikoyi, 1992
Police Station Wuse Abuja, 1992
Inter-Centre Cell, Lagos 1993
SSS Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, 1993
C. I. D. Police Station Ikoyi, 1993
Police Station Wuse Abuja, 1993
Police Headquarters, Abuja, 1993
Panti Police Station, Lagos, 1994
F. I. I. B. Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos 1994 (Once)
Panti Police Station, Lagos, 1995 (Twice)
SSS Shangisha Cell Lagos, 1995 (Once)
SSS Shangisha Cell Lagos, 1996 (Once)

Kaduna Prison, 1969
Gombe Prison, 1969 – 1970
Ikoyi Prison, 1978
Gashua Prison, 1989
Ikoyi Prison, 1990
Kuje Prison, 1992
Kuje Prison, 1993 and
Bauchi Prison, 1996


Author: Timilehin Boyinde

Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.