The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, has said that the right to protest is a fundamental right recognized by the Nigerian Constitution and upheld by Nigerian courts at all levels. Therefore, he called for the protection of rights of citizens participating in the peaceful protests across the country, as the group outlined its short-term and medium-term goals for Police reform while the #EndSARS protests rage on.
This was disclosed by Olumide Akpata on Tuesday afternoon after a briefing with reporters on the Association’s plans to protect the rights of individuals and long term reforms.
Recall Nairametrics reported this week that Olumide Akpata had said that the association is working to secure the release of protesters in the #EndSARS protests and is very interested in and committed to the peaceful and holistic resolution of all legal issues related to the protests.
In yesterday’s statement, Akpata said the association is monitoring compliance with rules of engagement by security agencies and escalating cases of abuse to the highest authorities within the relevant security agencies. He added that the NBA would expand its public interest channels and platforms to receive complaints from members of the public, and liaise with the relevant authorities within the security agencies.
He urged for an audit on various SARS detention centers known for police brutality including Awkuzu (Anambra State), the infamous “human abattoir”, and notorious SARS detention facilities across Lagos, Port-Harcourt, and other parts of the country.
“The NBA demands an immediate audit of the detainees in these and other facilities to ensure that those who are unjustly and unlawfully detained are immediately released, while those against whom the Police have credible cases are promptly charged to court and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
“The NBA will work with, and continue to prod, the Chief Magistrates or designated Magistrates across the country to pay monthly visits to police stations and other detention facilities within their territorial divisions, to direct the arraignment of suspects or grant bail to them (as appropriate) in line with the newly enacted Police Act.”
He said that the NBA would work with the National Assembly on its proposed legislative intervention on issues affecting the Police.
In the longer term, The NBA demands a total reform of the police force into a modern, responsible, and responsive law enforcement establishment that addresses funding and better working conditions for officers.
“The NBA will set up an NBA Police Reform Team that will work with the Police and other institutions and organizations in developing or refining a Comprehensive Blueprint for Police Reform in Nigeria and continuously advocating for the implementation of the Blueprint.”
He added that the NBA through the Human Rights Institute will work with the Police, providing continuous education, enlightenment, and sensitization to members of the Nigerian Police and other agencies on respect for civil law, human rights, rules of engagement, compliance with rulings, and/or judgment of courts, etc., in the discharge of their duties.
Akpata said that NBA studies reveal that in most cases, there is a lack of proper orientation and re-training of officers on how to engage or relate with citizens in a democratic society.
#EndSARS: No excuse for that amount of brutality on unarmed civilians – Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga has said that there can be no excuse for the amount of brutality met on unarmed #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria.
The Former Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga says there can be no excuse for the amount of brutality on unarmed #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria and urged the African Union and Nigerian government to investigate actors of state brutality.
Mr Odinga disclosed this in a statement on Thursday afternoon, he also passed his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Statement on Police Brutality against protesters in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/R2X8vor7oP
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) October 22, 2020
“The Police brutality and abuses that have gone on in Nigeria for the last couple of days, leading to multiple deaths and injuries of unarmed civilians are extremely worrying and unacceptable. There can be no excuse for that amount of brutality on unarmed civilians protesting misconduct on the part of the police,” Odinga said.
He added that the brutality that was meted out on the protesters is a reminder of “how precarious and threatened Africa’s march towards democratization, respect for rights and freedoms and the rule of law remains”.
He urged that the continent needs to disembark from the politics of confrontation and violence and engage issues to resolve differences. He also called on the African Union and Nigerian Authorities to “investigate the violence and murders that have gone on and hold the perpetrators to account.”
“Africa and its institutions must stand up for and condemn the brutalization of its citizens at home with the same energy and vigor it responds to the violations of its citizens abroad,” he said.
#EndSARS: Tinubu says he has no investment in LCC, collects no dime from Lekki Tollgate
Bola Tinubu has denied having any investment in the Lekki Concession Company.
Former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has denied having any kobo investment in the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), and as such has no dime in the funds generated at the Lekki Tollgate.
The rebuttal follows claims and allegations of his involvement in the shooting of unarmed protesters on Tuesday at the Lekki Tollgate. He was alleged to be livid from the losses made at the tollgate due to its shutdown by #EndSARS protesters; hence, the scheme to disperse protesters
Bola Tinubu debunked this rumor, in a telephone interview with Channels Television in the early hours of Wednesday.
In response to a question on his interest in the Lekki Tollgate, the APC leader said, “I have no dime, no kobo investment in the tollgate”.
He also denied having any investment in the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the firm which manages the tollgate.
Going further, he stated that he was reported to the President and initially accused of being behind the protests going on across the country; an allegation he has since denied. He refuted claims of giving the orders for the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate and questioned the logic behind the use of live arms on protesters who were unarmed.
“I will never, never be part of any carnage. I will never be part of that.”
According to Tinubu, it was his intervention that that spurred Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to respond to the demands of the protesters.
He said, “That was why he (Sanwo-Olu) set up the Judicial Commission of Inquiry. The governor has gone to the home of one of the victims to appeal to them. He has put N200m together as part of restitution and compensation for those attacked.”
There has been reported vandalization of properties allegedly owned by the former Lagos State Governor, which was fuelled by rumors he had a hand in the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
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Hoodlums razed the Lekki Tollgate and there were also alleged attacks on Oriental hotel, Television Continental, amongst others.
#EndSARS: Ikoyi Prison on fire, as Army foils jailbreak attempt
Ikoyi Correctional Centre in the Ikoyi area of Lagos is currently on fire.
Some buildings on the premises of the Ikoyi Correctional Centre are currently on fire, as there was an alleged jailbreak attempt by inmates. The fire emanating from the facility and seen in a video posted by Arise TV led to speculations of a possible jailbreak.
📹: Scene at Ikoyi Prison in Lagos pic.twitter.com/FOgtr2OskZ
— ARISE News Feed (@ARISEtv) October 22, 2020
Senator Tokunbo Ogunbajo confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with Arise TV. He disclosed that the cause of the fire outbreak is still unknown as security operatives and other personnel at the facility have done their best to curtail the inferno and restore order.
He emphasized that soldiers and other security operatives have arrived at the correctional facility, and there is no record of any escaped inmate, neither was there an attack from hoodlums.
According to him, the gunshots heard by neighbors, were fired to bring order and stem down unrest amongst inmates, who might want to seize the situation to escape.