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NGOs Vow To Secure Release Of Incarcerated ENDSARS Protesters

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, a network of individuals and organizations, and Citizen‘s Gavel, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) have reaffirmed their commitment to securing the release of all incarcerated ENDSARS protesters in the country.

EiE is an organisation committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through active citizenship. It began operations in January 2011 with grants from Omidyar  Network and MacArthur Foundation.

EiE was an integral part of the #OccupyNigeria movement in 2012 and is very active in the #OpenNASS and #OfficeOftheCitizen campaigns.

Similarly, Citizen’s Gavel is a not-for-profit NGO which is focused at increasing the pace of justice delivery through access to justice, digital technology and citizens’ engagement.

Since its inception three years ago, the organization has tracked court cases, promoted transparency and accountability in the justice sector and also provided free legal support for indigent persons while advocating for the rights of indigent Nigerians.

Moreover, Citizen’s Gavel has also continuously monitored and tracked anti-corruption cases in court and provided necessary data to the public on these cases. This is aimed at galvanizing the conversation around these cases and to advocate for their early resolution. The NGO has also represented numerous victims of human rights abuse in court and succeeded in getting   redress for them.

Both organizations gave the assurance in a jointly signed statement made available to the media.

“Sadly, almost one year after the nationwide protests, we can authoritatively confirm that there are still #EndSARS protesters who are incarcerated and languishing in various correctional centres

“We remain committed to the release of all incarcerated protesters and will continue to do all within our power to drive active citizenship, public accountability and justice delivery in Nigeria’’, the statement said.

The statement noted that the right to protest is fundamental and not a privilege, adding that  it is a right guaranteed by the grundnorm of the land; the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which affirms that a citizen of Nigeria does not need the approval of any governmental agency or public official to express their grievance.

‘‘Thus, to find protesters being brutalised, illegally shot at, and arrested for exercising their fundamental right is a complete breach of their human rights.

“These were some of the disturbing encounters of Nigerians who participated in the October 2020 #EndSARS protest, where citizens came out en masse to bemoan the societal ills of police brutality, indiscriminate arrests, and the excesses of rogue police officers and operatives of different police units, especially the now-renamed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)’’, the statement added. 

It further observed that peaceful protesters are not criminals and that neither is peacefully protesting a criminal offence.

‘‘Through our networks, we have observed, monitored, and amplified the search for incarcerated protesters and provided prompt legal support for victims as well as relatives of victims arrested during and after the October 2020 nationwide protests.

‘‘We hereby call on members of the public, friends, or relatives of victims with reliable information about incarcerated protesters to reach out to EiE Nigeria or Gavel for prompt legal intervention’’, it further stated.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=68333

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