Festus Ogun, a legal practitioner, has denounced Lagos Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu’s warning against the End SARS demonstration on October 20.
Individuals and groups are planned to mark the one-year anniversary of the Lekki toll gate shooting by Nigerian Army forces.
Ogun advised the police and other security authorities not to prevent individuals from enjoying their fundamental rights in a statement issued Monday night.
According to Festus Ogun Legal’s Principal Partner, such an endeavor is “unconscionable, draconian, and a reckless invitation to chaos.”
The activist reminded Odumosu that he has no jurisdiction to forbid protests and that following on the threat would be acting outside of his authority and against the constitution.
“Under our current laws, he cannot, under any guise, interfere with the sacred right to protest.”
The only legal obligation he has is to safeguard the safety and well-being of all protestors, which must be done professionally.”
The TakeItBack Movement’s Legal Adviser emphasized that the #EndSARS Memorial Demonstration is protected by Sections 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.
“Articles 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act protect the right to protest in the same way.” Furthermore, Articles 18-21 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights completely safeguard the fundamental right to protest.
“In the case of IGP v. ANPP (2008) 12 WRN 65, the Court of Appeal emphasized the sacred nature of the right to protest in a constitutional democracy, holding that “certainly in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies, or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anyone.”
“It is a right protected by the 1999 Constitution, and any law that attempts to limit such right is null and void and has no effect.”
“Rather than growing agitated about the oncoming, unavoidable revolution that will be experienced in our country, the police chief is encouraged to ensure that protesters’ rights are completely protected in the fullness of time.”
According to Ogun, a police force infamous for extrajudicial killings, torture, extortion, and brutality lacks the legal and moral authority to advise victims on how to demand a better life.
On October 20, rights advocates will not tolerate any type of harassment, intimidation, brutalization, or arrest, according to the lawyer.