Following reports that Nigerians want to mark the one year anniversary of the EndSARS protest, it has been reported that human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to abide by his oath of office by calling on the police not to disrupt upcoming #EndSARS protests.
He reportedly disclosed this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Nigeria Police Force Lacks Power to Ban Public Protests in Nigeria’.
This is coming as a reaction to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, claim that the police would not allow anyone to stage another #EndSARS protest ahead of the one-year anniversary of the protests of last year.
Falana made it known that, “It is public knowledge that General Muhammadu Buhari (as he then was) and other leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress took part in public rallies against fuel hike in January 2012 and protests against insecurity in November 2014.”
He added that, “The threats against peaceful rallies oozing out of the police headquarters and state commands are illegal as they constitute a gross infringement of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the Nigerian Constitution as well as Articles 9 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.”
The activist disclosed that, “For the avoidance of doubt, Section 94 (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides: Notwithstanding any provision in the Police Act, the Public Order Act and any regulation made thereunder or any other law to the contrary, the role of the Nigeria Police Force in political rallies, processions and meetings shall be limited to the provision of adequate security as provided in subsection (1) of this section.”
He continued that, “In view of the fact that the police authorities have been notified of the public rallies scheduled to hold on October 20, 2020 to mark the first year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests, the Nigeria Police Force is required to make arrangements for the provision of adequate security for the participants at the venues of the rallies.”