The Lagos State Government has directed the immediate release of 253 persons arrested by the police for criminal offences in connection with the #EndSARS protests in the state, due to non-disclosure of a prima facie case against them by the police force.
This directive was contained in a statement issued earlier on Sunday by the Office of Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo.
The statement explained that the Nigeria Police forwarded 40 case files to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for Legal Advice, between 4th and 5th of November, 2020, in respect of the 361 persons arrested for criminal offences
The statement reads, “Legal Advice has been issued in respect of all the 40 case files received, and as at 6th November 2020, the Directorate had been able to dispatch Legal Advice in respect of 81 persons, who are being charged to the various courts, while others will be dispatched to court on Monday, 9th November 2020.’’
“Out of the 361 persons, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall be prosecuting 92 persons for different offences ranging from arson, stealing, breaking into buildings, armed robbery, and murder, while the Office has advised that 253 persons be released forthwith for non-disclosure of a prima facie case. In the meantime, two case files in respect of 16 persons have been advised for further investigation by the Police.’’
The statement also assured that the Office of the Attorney-General of Lagos State will ensure that those arrested by the Police are treated in accordance with the due process of the law, while it remains committed to maintaining the rule of law and ensuring peace and order in the State.
What you should know
It can be recalled that the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings which started peacefully, was later taken over by hoodlums and criminal elements, who engaged in widespread violence with the looting and destruction of public and private infrastructures.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had estimated that it would take the state about N1 trillion to rebuild the damaged and looted assets.