“Youths planning to get involved in any protests have been advised to know everything they ought to know about the motive of the organisers and the environment where such protests would hold so as to ensure that their lives are not wasted untimely for following blindly”, one of the freed protesters of the EndSARS campaign.
Giving the advice at the Governor’s office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Tuesday, Adeniji Sadiq Adewale, one of the three protesters detained by the Police during a protest to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad said their genuine protests was hijacked by hoodlums.
Adenji who said his arrest had taught him some lessons about the need to be vigilant, thorough and also be mindful of the kind of persons he hobnobs with, especially, for group actions, said he and his colleagues had come to appreciate the Governor for his fatherly assistance in getting them out of the allegations woven around their cases.
Adeniji added that it was a little bit unfortunate that he was wrongly arrested by the police for the crime of vandalising public property and disturbing public peace. He promised “to always look before leaping so that I won’t find himself in such controversial position in the future”.
The three youths arrested, detained and later released through the effort of the Ogun State Government are Adeniji Sadiq Adewale, Olatoye Olalekan and Mutairu Faruq. They had participated in street protests, leading to destruction of people property on Saturday.
While appealing to the Nigerian Police to be more factual when making arrest of this nature, he appreciated the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for “playing a fatherly role in their release from the mess we found ourselves as a result of our little involvement in the protest to end the brutal reign of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the country.”
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran, who received the trio on behalf of the Governor noted that it was the constitutional right of the people to protest peacefully.
He added that constitutional rights stops at the point where the rights of other people are however infringed upon.
Adeniran expressed the plan of the present administration in the state to start a “Police Duty Solicitor Scheme”, a scheme, he said, would avail anyone arrested by the police and placed in detention to have access to a lawyer at the instance of the State.
He added that the scheme which the state government is starting with the Area Commands would ensure that anyone placed in detention gets a lawyer who ensures that “no one in detention is beaten or kept for unnecessary period of time”.
“One of the things that I believe this administration has started which you will now start to see more of is what we are calling “Police Duty Solicitor Scheme”. It is something we are starting with the Area Commands. The idea is that the moment anyone is in police detention, a lawyer will be made available.
“The lawyer will make sure that no one is beaten while in detention or is kept in detention for unnecessary lengthy period of time and that no one is prevented from having access to their lawyers. That is the essence of this scheme and the police has adopted it. It is only in the Area commands for now, it will be extended to other police stations, so we can protect the right of the citizens,” he said.
Adeniran also urged the people of the state to ensure that they report any form of discussion about people planning to foment trouble during a peaceful protest on social media handles to the police.
He warned that the refusal of participants on such social media handles to report planned disturbance of public peace during a peaceful protest could lead to their arrest as accomplices to crimes.