Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights lawyer, has slammed the federal government for unleashing police officers to hunt down peaceful June 12 protesters.
He stated that the protesters’ arrest was unconstitutional and infringed on their constitutional freedom to protest.
Falana, who demanded an apology from the police for all protesters arrested during peaceful protests in Abuja, Lagos, and Calabar, accused the police of infringing on the right to free expression with the arrests.
Section 94 (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) limits the police to providing adequate protection during rallies, processions, and gatherings, he stated.
The statement read;
“More so, the police had deliberately breached Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020, which states that “Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or her 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 is to be held, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession is to be held, personnel to provide security cover for the meetings, rally, or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally, or procession.”
“How come some protesters were arrested while the police admitted that they had done no crime? Why were the alleged hoodlums and miscreants who sought to sow chaos and violence among the protesters not apprehended? Or were they treated as sacred cows because they were hired to disrupt the protesters’ peaceful rallies?
“Why were the few pro-government protesters who were said to have brawled openly in Abuja over their loot not detained for breach of the Federal Capital Territory’s peace?”