Falana led coalition, Alliance for Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond said on Wednesday, said the arrest of scores of protesters in Lagos, Kano, and Abuja by the Nigerian authorities violates fundamental human rights as entrenched in the Nigerian constitution.
TheNigerialawyer(TNL) recalls that scores of protesters took to the streets in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Osogbo in the morning hours on Wednesday, defying heavy security presence in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja where soldiers joined the police to arrest the first set of protesters.
Some were later arrested in Lagos and across the country. Witnesses put the figure if those arrested at around 30 but there are fears more may have been arrested and detained by a combined team of soldiers and police that swooped on the protesters.
ASCAB, through its Convener, Femi Falana, SAN, while condemning the arrest of the protesters said the protests were legitimate and sum up an outburst of pent up anger against the increasingly intolerant Nigerian state. The group said the poor economic conditions of Nigerians is pushing many people to the cliff edge of frustration, pangs and pains.
“The arrests violate the constitution of Nigeria since every citizen has the right to peaceful assembly. The protesters did not break any known law. What they did was to express their democratic rights as aggrieved citizens” ASCAB National Chairman, Femi Falana, (SAN) a foremost human rights lawyer said.
He praised the protesters for conducting themselves in peaceful manners without resorting to violence.
“We saw young men and women coming out to protest against injustice. This is in line with democratic tradition anywhere in the world. The arrests and violent attacks on the protesters represent a grievous violation of the constitution that the security operatives should uphold and defend” Falana said.
He called for the immediate and unconditional release of the protesters saying any attempt to continue to detain them has legal implications for the Federal Government
“The protesters were demanding for an end to corruption and bad governance, the release of Sahara Publisher, Mr Omoyele Sowore, provision of palliatives for millions of extremely poor Nigerians, improvement in Nigeria-s poor health system and increase in wages for workers who are currently battered by the impact of a backlog of arrears and salaries owed by many state governments and the private sector,” he said.