Following the proposed clampdown on protesters by the Lagos State Police Command, the Rule of Law Accountability and Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), a human rights advocacy group, has said the commissioner of police in the state is acting beyond his powers.
The group in a statement, on Saturday, said the commissioner has no powers under any law to ban protests, as the laws of Nigeria allow for peaceful protests.
“The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, acted beyond his powers by announcing a ban on protests in Lagos State. He is exercising powers he does not have.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Lagos police under the leadership of Mr Odumosu said it will resist any form of protest, whether peaceful or violent.
Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson of the Lagos police, said the “police and other security agencies will collectively and tactically resist any security threats or threats to public peace which might be triggered by protest or protesters.”
This was following the report that some youth groups plan to reassemble to continue the #EndSARS protest for police reform.
The continuous attempt by the Nigerian government to clampdown on protesters for exercising their constitutional rights are believed to be part of the reasons motivating the youth to continue the protest.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently obtained a court judgment to freeze the account of individuals and a corporate organisation linked to the #EndSARS protest.
Reacting to the ban on protests by the commissioner of police, Okechukwu Nwanguma, the Executive Director of RULAAC said the police chief is “exercising powers he does not have.”
“There is also no such thing as ‘EndSARS violent protests’, as stated in the Press Release issued by the CP Lagos through the PPRO. The #EndSARS protests were peaceful until government recruited thugs who attacked the peaceful protesters and subsequently deployed soldiers who attacked them and fired live ammunition on the protesters,” he wrote.
“When CP Joseph Mbu issued a similar illegal order in the FCT in 2014 banning protests by the Bring Back Our Girls group, while he was CP FCT, he was forced to withdraw the order following the public backlash.
“The Bring Back Our Girls Group, through their lawyers, Femi Falana Chambers went to court and got a court order nullifying that illegal order and reaffirming citizens’ constitutional rights to assemble peacefull and protest without requiring approval from the Police,” he wrote.
RULAAC urged the police commissioner not to step beyond his boundaries by placing ban on protests in the state.
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