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You have broken the law – Falana slams Nigeria Police over attack on Charly Boy, other protesters

by 13/08/2017 16:55:00 0 comments 1 Views

- Falana says the police went against the law when its officers protected pro-Buhari protesters but attacked anti-Buhari ones

- The lawyer says President Buhari has protested against such an action against him in the past and should be embarrassed that it is happening in his government

- Falana cited the judgment in the Buhari case years ago to justify the arguments against the illegality

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has accused the Nigeria Police Force of breaking laws by attacking anti-Buhari protesters led by musician Charly Boy in Abuja.

In a statement on Saturday, August 12, Falana cited court cases to prove the alleged illegality of the actions of men of the Nigerian police who tear-gassed and hosed protesters with water.

He also noted that the fact that policemen peacefully escorted pro-Buhari protesters and attacked the anti-Buhari ones was against the laid down laws.

Falana said President Buhari should be embarrassed that the Police provided protection for those demonstrating support for him.

READ ALSO: You are all over the place - Buhari tells Lai Mohammed

"By providing adequate security for the pro-Buhari demonstrators, while harassing the anti–Buhari protesters, the Police engaged in the violation Section 42 of the Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of political opinion," said the lawyer.

Falana pointed out that President Buhari had in the past filed a suit against such an attack on him and his co-protesters in 2003.

"In a well-considered judgment, the learned trial judge, Chinyere J, held that Police permit was inconsistent with Sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The appeal filed against the judgment at the Court of Appeal by the Police was dismissed. In affirming the decision of the lower court, Olufunmilayo Adekeye J.C.A (as she then was) observed said: 'A rally or placard carrying demonstration has become a form of expression of views on current issues affecting government and the governed in a sovereign state,'" stated Mr. Falana.

"Thus, Section 94 (4) of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2015 stipulates that 'Notwithstanding any provision in the Police Act, the Public Order and any regulation made thereunder or any other law to the contrary, the role of the Nigeria Police Force in political rallies, processions and meetings shall be limited to the provision of adequate security as provided in subsection 1 of this section,” the lawyer narrated.

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Falana concluded that "To that extent, the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force should apologize to Mr. Charles Oputa and other members of #OurMumuDonDo. As the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution can only be abridged or restricted by a procedure permitted by law, a police officer, who has information that any rally or demonstration may lead to a breakdown of law and order, is advised to apply for a an injunctive relief in a competent court of law.”

Meanwhile, had reported that there was tension in Abuja on Friday, August 11, when a pro-Buhari group confronted some protesters demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari either resumes or resigns.

The confrontation which occurred at the Unity Fountain could have escalated but for the timely intervention of police officers who created a barricade between both groups.

Shortly after the pro-Buhari group arrived the scene in eight buses, Charles Oputa AKA Charly Boy and other protesters demanding the resignation of Buhari drove out of the area in a convoy of cars amid boos from the pro-Buhari group.

Watch this TV video of an anti-Buhari protest led by a presidential aide's daughter

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