A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has reacted to the threat by the Nigerian Police to stop the protest planned for the commemoration of the EndSars.
Adegboruwa, in a statement made available to The Lawyer, said the threat is illegal.
He said, “My attention has been drawn to a statement made by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, wherein he threatened to suppress the protests planned for the commemoration of EndSARS. The Commissioner stated that the police will do everything within its powers to stop the protests.
“This is not proper in a democracy, which is nurtured by the observance of the rule of law and due respect for human rights. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, grants to every citizen the freedom of expression without interference.
The responsibility of the Police under the Police Act, 2020, is to offer protection to citizens who embark upon peaceful, civil and lawful protests and not to threaten them.
“The deliberate act of the Police to suppress lawful protests has no place in our Constitution and it should not be condoned at all. I am concerned that the Police and the government generally seem not to have learnt any lesson from the EndSARS protests of 2020, for the purpose of engaging citizens in lawful ways.”
Furthermore, the learned silk said since APC government is a child of protest, it is unimaginable to stop citizens from enjoying the right to protest. He urged the police to work with the protesters instead to achieve peace.
“Considering that the ruling All Progressive Congress is itself a child of protests, it is unimaginable that the same government is seeking to gag citizens from enjoying the same rights that its leaders deployed to full advantage when they were in the opposition.
“I, therefore, urge the Police to exercise restrain and work with the protesters to achieve a peaceful and orderly outing and to offer them protection.
“I urge the protesters to shun all acts of violence and disruptions of business or hindrance of movement of persons, in the course of the protests,” Adegboruwa said