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‘No going back on #ENDSARS anniversary rally’, promoters tell police

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PROMOTERS of the #ENDSARS anniversary rally in Lagos yesterday vowed to go ahead with the activity despite the planned police clampdown on protesters in the state.

The Lagos State police command had earlier asked the youths and other individuals behind the rally slated for Wednesday to jettison the idea and instead observe the first anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest in the various homes.

Recall that that police operatives had been deployed to many parts of the state, especially the Lekki tollgate, the epicentre of last year’s protest in the country.

However, in a statement issued by the group’s legal representatives under the aegis of Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association and signed by its chairman, Adesina Ogunlana, and Secretary, Ayodele Ademoluyi, the protesters said there is no going back on the rally.

The statement read: “The assertion in the Press Statement that the ‘attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a post being circulated on the social media insinuating that the Police in Lagos had agreed to allow street protests in commemoration of the one year #ENDSARS anniversary on the 20th October, 2021’ begs the question of even whether your Command or the entire Nigeria Police Force have the capacity in law to allow or disallow citizens of Lagos State and of Nigeria from exercising their right to peaceful protest, which is guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(1999 as amended).

“We assert further that the assertion that ‘on the contrary, the Police will ONLY ALLOW an indoor and virtual event in commemoration of the #ENDSARS Anniversary and will provide adequate security at the venue(s) if known’ flies in the face of the decision in MUHAMMADU BUHARI v INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE that Police Permit is not required for peaceful processions in the exercise of the fundamental right to peaceful assembly.

“We are of the respectful view that your Command by its stated position has resolved once again to repress the fundamental rights of peaceful citizens who wish to come out tomorrow, 20th October, 2021 to commemorate the #EndSARS Anniversary.

“You will kindly note that the fundamental rights of freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and procession, freedom of movement and expression are all enshrined and guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended).

“Further take note that members of the #ENDSARS movement or citizens interested in marking the First Anniversary of the 2020 #ENDSARS Protests at no time or place threatened violence, breach of the public peace or causing a nuisance of any sort in their activities. We challenge you to show evidence to the contrary.

“In the foregoing, we ask your Command to respect the Constitution and being law-keepers obey the laws of the land in respect of the matter at hand.”

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