The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos State branch, has called on the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, to release innocent citizens arrested during the #EndSARS protests.
The association made the call in a letter signed by the branch Chairman, Mr Yemi Akangbe and Chairman, NBA Lagos Human Rights Committee, Mr Okey Ilofulunwa, dated Oct. 30.
In the letter, titled “DPP’s Legal Advice on #Endsars detainees,” the NBA alleged that over 500 Nigerians were remanded on sundry allegations relating to the #EndSARS protest.
”The remand orders are awaiting legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), while the Correctional Service refused to take in the suspects kept in various police stations.
”The association urges the attorney-general to use his good office to ensure that those who are innocent are released immediately.
“We are concerned that given the number of defendants, their right to dignity of human persons as secured under the 1999 Constitution may be imperilled.
“We respectfully request that you use your good office to ensure that those that are innocent are released immediately’’.
The NBA noted that there were reports of human rights abuses leading to detention and arraignment of citizens and that the high number of defendants has the potential to clog the justice system.
It, therefore, said that the Legal Advice is issued within the next three working days, to fast-track the state’s commitment to the issuance of Legal Advice.
It noted that the branch has a network of lawyers under its Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS) and Court Duty Solicitor Scheme who offer free legal assistance to indigent citizens and #ENDSARS detainees.
NAN reports that the NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata, had pledged the association’s commitment to monitor proceedings of the judicial panels of inquiry.
Akpata added that the bar would also provide volunteer-lawyers to offer free legal services to citizens who wish to pursue their cases at the panels.