Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights lawyer, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct police not to disrupt the planned #EndSARS protests. The Interim Chair, Alliance on Surviving COVID- 19 and Beyond (ASCAB), asked the President to abide by his oath of office.
Falana stated this in a statement headlined ” Nigeria Police Force Lacks Power to Ban Public Protests in Nigeria. ”
The law gives Nigerians the right to attend public meetings, demonstrations, and processions in the country, according to the human rights lawyer, who said that Buhari, who participated in protests when vying for office, should call on the police to respect citizens’ rights.
He emphasized that the police and other security forces should be reminded that neither the old British colonial police force nor the defunct neocolonial military era were successful in prohibiting public protests in Nigeria.
” In light of the Nigeria Police Force’ s threat to prohibit Nigerian citizens from exercising their fundamental rights to assemble and hold peaceful rallies to commemorate the one- year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests, it has become necessary to draw attention to the current state of the law on public meetings, rallies, and processions in the country, ” the statement reads.
” The threats against peaceful rallies emanating from Police Headquarters and State Commands are illegal because they are a violation of the Nigerian citizen’ s fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as guaranteed by sections 38 and 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and articles 9 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.
In my opinion, I think Falana is right because Buhari once protested against Goodluck Jonathan’ s government. Nigerians have the right to protest against what they don’ t want.
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