A forum of lawyers, the Eti-Osa Bar Forum, Ajah, Lagos State, has knocked the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, for the ugly roles he played during Saturday’s #OccupyLekkiTollgate protest.
The forum at a world press conference on Monday noted that both the AG and the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Friday led a “show of force which is a show of shame” and acted the scripts of how they would repress the harmless #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters.
The Eti-Osa forum added that it was disturbed by the overall conduct of the Attorney General who instead of defending constitutionalism and rule of law, became a mouthpiece for impunity.
The forum’s release was signed by Chairman, Oladotun Hassan; and Secretary, Ayo Ademiluyi.
The forum said, “We condemn in its entirety this act of mass criminalisation of citizens of our jurisdiction by the conduct of the Lagos State Police Command of the Nigerian Police
Force. The action amounts to the derogation of democratic rights of citizens under a supposed democracy.
“This show of force which is a show of shame was acting to the script by the police officers and men of Lagos command of the threats to repress the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest via the joint press conference of the AG of Lagos.
“We are disturbed by the overall conduct of the AG. As the Chief Law Officer of the Lagos State Government, the Office of the AG is meant to be for the defence of constitutionalism and rule of law and not a mouthpiece for impunity.
“We are shocked with the statements of the Defence Minister in particular, who asserted that minimum force will be applied to protesters. This is clearly undemocratic as we are not in the jackboot days of military authoritarianism.”
The forum added that the nature of the brutalisation of the arrested protesters, including the inhumane treatment they were subjected to, drew the ire of many across the world.
“Of note is the beating that Debo Adebayo, popularly known as MC Macaroni, and his fellow arrested protesters received in the hands of the police officers.
“We call for the investigation and arrest of the police officers who were involved in this dastardly acts. We are of the view that these attacks represent the reality that police brutality which the #EndSARS protests want to end and which many died for in the course of the protests have not ended,” the forum added.