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Eniola Awokoya

As the world continue to question the Nigerian government’s reaction to and handling of the #EndSars protest organized by the youths of the country to express their displeasure over Police brutality and bad governance, it appears there is no end in sight for the respite these youths seek.

This is because while the youths have been speaking loud and clear against police brutality and the overbearing and inhuman nature of the government of the day in silencing dissenting voices, the government is also determinedly and stubbornly using the same police brutality and draconian laws to fight its citizens back.

It is totally unbelievable that despite the ongoing outcry against government’s highhandedness in handling the civil unrest, the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari through the Nigerian Police Force on Tuesday at the Yaba Magistrate Court sitting in Lagos, proved yet again that they are determined to silence the voices of Nigerian youths, especially those who do not agree with their anti-people policies.

In the morning of Tuesday, families and friends of #EndSars frontliner Peter Eromosele Adene including Journalists had gathered at the court house to witness his trial but were prevented from entering the court room.

The Police also had requested the court for a leave to detain Eromosele for another 30 days to enable them conclude investigations into the allegations against the defendant and this is after having been in custody for 10 days already.

According to an Affidavit deposed to by the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, Uloko Obiabo and filed before Magistrate O. A. Salawu by Police prosecutor, Cyril, the defendant was arrested on November 7, based on intelligence report allegedly “with inciting banners calling for fresh protests.”  Despite being aware that the Presidency has set-up a committee to look into all #EndSARS demands.

Eromosele was also accused of being a financial sponsor of the #EndSars protest which was later hijacked by hoodlums.

The judiciary being the last hope of the common man however, rejected the request by the police and granted bail to the defendant to the tune of One Million Naira.

It is quite disturbing that in a country that has a constitution which guarantees the freedom of Speech, Association and Right to Peaceful protest clearly stated, the people’s right to these rights are being questioned and denied with brazen defiance by the government.

The Nigerian government is working tirelessly to criminalise the right of Nigerians to protest and air their grievances against government and its agencies unfavourable policies and inhuman treatments.

This they are doing by freezing the bank accounts of #EndSars frontliners, indiscriminate arrest and detention of some and the institution of legal proceedings against 38 persons who partook in the #EndSars protest.

The government is accusing them of instigating the public against the government and causing civil unrest in the country.

While the international community and leaders of thought have continued to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to follow and obey International laws on protection of Human Rights and the Rights of Citizens to protest, Nigerian youths can only hope that somewhere in the horizon, there will be a beacon of hope.

 

 

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