By Edward Etuka
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the arrest of protesters arrested at Lekki Tollgate on Saturday.
The association, in a statement by its president, Olumide Akpata, said the arrest of the protesters is a disrespect to their fundamental right to organise peaceful protests.
“The images and footage of the unlawful actions of the Nigerian Police at the Lekki Tollgate Lagos are truly shocking. The Nigerian Bar Association condemns the brazen disrespect for the fundamental rights of unarmed citizens who are merely exercising their rights to peaceful protests.
“We are currently working together with members of our Association to ensure the release of those detained. At the moment, we understand that the detainees are spread across Panti, Adeniji and Ikeja Police Stations and that they are currently being denied access to their Lawyers.
“This is totally unacceptable and we call on the Police to immediately release them or allow them unhindered access to their lawyers. For Protesters who do not have legal representation the NBA is setting up a team of volunteer lawyers who will immediately represent them,” the statement read.
Meanwhile the Global Center for Media and Human Empowerment (GCMHE)has also joined other progressive Nigerians to kick against the arbitrary arrest of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate that defy the threat of security agencies.
The group,in a statement by its acting Director-General Charles Ejoh described the melo-drama as one of the antics of the President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressives Congress(APC) to suppress Nigerians of speaking out the truth against their oppressive administration.
“Its laughable to see the Nigeria security operatives chasing a sparse crowd of protesters in Lagos that were suppose to go after killer herdsmen and bandits that are wrecking havoc in all parts of the country.The Buhari led APC government antics of suppressing Nigerians from speaking the truth against their oppressive administration must end”.
The protest of the youth is against the decision of the Lagos State Judicial Panel for the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to open the tollgate where soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters last year.
The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) and Amnesty International had also demanded the release of arrested protesters.