Olalekan Awojodu with Agencies
The Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, to release innocent citizens arrested during the #EndSARS protests.
The association made the plea in a letter signed by the branch Chairman, Mr Yemi Akangbe and Chairman, NBA Lagos Human Rights Committee, Mr Okey Ilofulunwa, dated Oct. 30.
Entitled “DPP’s Legal Advice on #Endsars detainees,” the NBA alleged that over 500 Nigerians were remanded on sundry allegations relating to the #EndSARS protest.
”The remand orders are awaiting legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), while the Correctional Service refused to take in the suspects kept in various police stations.
”The association urges the attorney-general to use his good office to ensure that those who are innocent are released immediately.
“We are concerned that given the number of defendants, their right to dignity of human persons as secured under the 1999 Constitution may be imperiled.
“We respectfully request that you use your good office to ensure that those that are innocent are released immediately’’.
The NBA noted further that there were reports of human rights abuses leading to detention and arraignment of citizens, arguing that the high number of defendants has potential to clog the justice system.
As a way of fast-tracking the state’s commitment on the issuance of Legal Advice, the association has called for the issuance of the Legal Advice within the next three working days.
The branch according to the association has a network of lawyers under its Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS) and Court Duty Solicitor Scheme who offer free legal assistance to indigent citizens and #ENDSARS detainees.
Recall that the NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata, had earlier pledged the association’s commitment to monitor proceedings of the judicial panels of inquiry.
The bar according to Akpata would also provide volunteer-lawyers to offer free legal services to citizens who wish to pursue their cases at the panels.