No Going Back On EndSARS Memorial Rally, Protesters Respond to Lagos Police
NaijaNews reports that protesters have insisted that their planned rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the country’s #EndSARS campaign will take place on Wednesday.
They made this known in a statement issued by their legal representatives in the Nigerian Bar Association under the aegis of the Radical Agenda Movement.
In the statement jointly signed by the group’s chairman, Adesina Ogunlana, and Secretary, Ayodele Ademoluyi, the protesters said, “The assertion in the Press Statement that the “attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a post being circulated on the social media insinuating that the Police in Lagos have agreed to allow street protests in commemoration of the one year #EndSARS anniversary on the 20th October 2021” begs the question of even whether your Command or the entire Nigeria Police Force has the capacity in law to allow or disallow citizens of Lagos State and of Nigeria from exercising their right to peaceful protest, which is guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(1999 as amended).
“We assert further that the assertion that “on the contrary, the Police will ONLY ALLOW an indoor and virtual event in commemoration of the #EndSARS Anniversary and will provide adequate security at the venue(s) if known” flies in the face of the decision in MUHAMMADU BUHARI v INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE that Police Permit is not required for peaceful processions in the exercise of the fundamental right to peaceful assembly.
“We are of the respectful view that your Command by its stated position has resolved once again to repress the fundamental rights of peaceful citizens who wish to come out tomorrow, 20th October 2021 to commemorate the #EndSARS Anniversary.
“You will kindly note that the fundamental rights of freedoms of association, peaceful assembly, peaceable procession, freedom of movement and expression are all enshrined and guaranteed under the grundnorm, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended).
Further take note that members of the #EndSARS movement or citizens interested in marking the First Anniversary of the 2020 #EndSARS Protests at no time or place threatened violence, breach of the public peace, or causing a nuisance of any sort in their commemoration activities. We challenge you to show evidence to the contrary.
“In the foregoing, we ask your Command to respect the Constitution and being law-keepers obey the laws of the land, in respect of the matter at hand.”