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June 12: Arrest of protesters by police illegal — Falana

 By Myke Uzendu, Abuja

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has accused the police of violating the freedom of expression following the arrests of June 12 protesters on Saturday.

Falana, in a statement on Sunday, demanded an apology from the Nigerian police to all protesters who were molested and arrested in Abuja, Lagos, Osun and Calabar during the peaceful protests.

He cited the provisions of Section 94 (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which limits the police to provision of adequate security during rallies, processions and meetings.

The statement reads partly: “More so that the police had deliberately contravened Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 which provides that “Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.”

“Since the Police admitted that protesters committed no offence  whatsoever why were some of them arrested? Why were the so called hoodlums and miscreants who wanted to cause mayhem and unleash violence on the protesters not arrested? Or were they treated like sacred cows because they had been hired to disrupt the peaceful rallies of the protesters? Why were the scanty pro-government protesters who were reported to have fought openly in Abuja over their booty not arrested for breach of the peace in the Federal Capital Territory?”

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