The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, has declared that the State Government would file charges against any police officer who assaulted or dehumanized the protesters arrested on Saturday, February 13.
The Commissioner said this in reaction to reports that some of the arrested protesterswere being dehumanized and assaulted by the police. According to him, the State Commissioner of Police will be asked to give an account of what happened at Lekki Toll Gate where the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest was scheduled to hold on February 13.
Onigbanjo said, “We cannot afford the sort of vandalism we saw before. The Nigerian police force is a legal entity of its own, with its own processes. But the role of the police stops when it comes to prosecution. The state government will ask the CP to give an account of what happened. Your right to protest only extends to where the other person’s right to his own freedom of association and movement starts. We condemn any act of brutality and dehumanisation on the part of the police or anybody for that matter. There are three ways to address this. Firstly, is for the commissioner of police himself to set up what is known as an orderly room trial.”
He added, “Secondly if the investigation reveals that any police officer abused their authority, and these facts are sent to the DPP’s office, and the DPP says that the policeman or woman has a case to answer, appropriate charges will be filed. The third leg of it; even these citizens who claimed that they were brutalized also have the option to sue the police to court for this act which they alleged.”