November 11, 2020

Police, DSS arresting EndSARS protesters, Delta Judicial Panel member cries out


…How Police deceived me to arrest my brother, Eromosele Adene, in Lagos – Sister

…Says brother has liver problems, begs for his release

…My client moved to Abuja, denied bail, police playing hide-and-seek, says Lawyer

…Police deny arresting protesters •We will meet in court- Dr Pam Pam

…Stop harassing innocent youths, CAN, CSOs tell FG

…Sam Adeyemi, Davido, Tuface, Kanu, 46 others dragged to court

…We have not received any summon yet – 2baba Mgt

By Ayo Onikoyi, Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Perez Brisibe, Luminous Jannamike, Sylvester Kwentua & Juliet Ebirim

Despite the outrage trailing the arrest and detention of #EndSARS protesters across the country, the crackdown continued yesterday, as a member of Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate allegations of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the state, Harrison Gwamnishu, raised alarm over what he described as the wanton arrest of persons who participated in the protest.

The alarm came on a day sister of one of the #EndSARS protesters, Onomene Adene, explained how she was deceived by the police who arrested her brother, Eromosele Peter Adene, who she added had a liver problem.

This is even as an Abuja-based activist, Kenechukwu Okeke, Monday filed a criminal complaint before a Chief Magistrate’s court in Abuja against 50 persons, including Sam Adeyemi, Davido, Tuface Idibia, Nwankwo Kanu and 46 others, for their alleged roles in the #EndSARS protests that took place last month

He alleged that during the riot, his properties were destroyed, adding that the defendants who promoted the #EndSARS protests must be brought to justice.

Raising the alarm in a statement yesterday, Gwamnishu, while questioning the intentions of the federal government, also accused the police and Department of State Services, DSS, as the brains behind the arrest.

Though the judicial panel member did not state if he would be withdrawing his membership of the state panel, he said: “You can’t beg citizens to sit and negotiate and at the same time freeze their accounts.”

Warning those who participated in the protest across the nation, he said: “If you were involved in #EndSARS protest, be careful of calls you receive. If anyone calls you on the phone and tells you to come and take or collect something, please don’t go. The police and DSS are out there picking #EndSARS protesters.

“Your family and friends can be used as soft targets. This means, they can get your relatives/friends’ phone numbers from your network provider and use them to fish you out. They will also get your frequently dialed numbers, track them and later use them to get you.”

Police deny arresting #EndSARS protesters in Delta

But Delta State police command, yesterday, denied reports that it was arresting persons who participated in the #EndSARS protest in the state.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya, said: “I’m not aware of it (arrest of #EndSARS protesters), maybe it’s at the national level because I don’t think it’s happening in Delta State. So, I believe that claim is not true.”

Efforts to also get the reaction of the Department of State Service, DSS, proved abortive at press time last night.

NBA President, Moughalu flay clampdown

Reacting to the development yesterday, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olumide Akpata and a presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Kingsley Moghalu, described it as unacceptable.

They also condemned the freezing of  accounts of some persons in connection with the #EndSARS’ protest.

The NBA President, Akpata in a statement on his twitter handle, noted that lawyers in the country were not happy over the actions of the security agencies, adding that some of the protesters had gone into hiding  after receiving phone threats, while others had their passports seized and accounts frozen.

Moghalu on his part, said: “The clampdown on #EndSARS protesters and supporters is completely wrong and unacceptable. I urge the authorities to reverse gear. These actions raise questions about the good faith of the government, and risk igniting even more resistance.”

Govt is insincere – Ikimi

Warri-based human rights lawyer, Oghenejabor Ikimi, said the federal government was not only insincere about addressing issues raised by youths in the protests but also described the clampdown as an infringement on the rights of the individuals.

Wondering why the government has not been able to freeze the bank accounts of corrupt politicians and sponsors of Boko Haram in the country over the years, Ikimi while faulting the actions of the government, accused it of being insincere, despite giving the nod for constituting of the panels of inquiry in states.

He said:  “This goes to show you that the government is not ready and is speaking from both sides of its mouth in handling the challenges of this country, including the demands of these protesters which it agreed to address.

“Until the government meets these demands, the problem is not yet solved and the clampdown on the protesters is not the solution to the issues on ground.

“With the current position of the government, I wonder what will be the outcome of these panels of inquiry because the government is just being pretentious in handling the matter, hence the panels will definitely achieve nothing and it will be an exercise in futility.”

It’s a violation of human rights — Yiaga Africa

According to Cynthia Mbamalu, the Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa:  “The arrest of #EndSARS protesters is an unconstitutional act by the State in violation of the fundamental rights of citizens to freedom of expression and assembly.

“Democratic governance cannot thrive without accountability. Protest is an expression of the people’s right to participate in government and demand accountability.

“Arresting citizens for joining the #EndSARS protest is a violation of human rights, a blatant disregard for our Constitution and worrying trend of state abuse of power. These arrests cannot be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.”

Don’t further mismanage and already bad situation — Say No Campaign 

For Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Convened of “Say No Campaign’: “The state has continued to mismanage its handling of an already mismanaged protest.

“We agree that the wanton destruction of properties and killing of innocent citizens by criminal elements masquerading as protesters should not be overlooked.

“In doing so, the security agents must, however, ensure that the innocent does not suffer in the process. They must be professional, humane and thorough.”

Release all arrested #EndSARS protesters — Centre for Liberty

On his part, Adebayo Raphael, the convener of  Centre for Liberty, urged the government to direct the release of  release all #EndSARS protesters and halt further harassment.

He said:  “The home-to-home arrests, as we are seeing presently, are part of the last vestiges of a tyrannical regime that is consumed by vicious confusion and bent on self-destruction.

“What Nigerian youths deserve now is solidarity from all men and women of conscience, who, like me, believe that injustice festers when it is not opposed; that the ultimate battle is not against a judicial panel but those who make the constitution of such a panel necessary in the first place. The government must release all #EndSARS protesters and stop harassing us.”

We’re not surprised — Concerned Nigerians

In the same vein, Deji Adeyanju,   the convener of Concerned Nigerians, said the group was not surprised by the alleged act of intimidation by the security forces.

He said: “For so long, we have been speaking out, warning the youths who thought the government was responsible and sincere, and earnestly wanted to have meaningful dialogue, that it makes no sense to negotiate with the authorities.

So, we  are not surprised by the arrests and victimization of prominent #EndSARS voices. These kinds of shenanigan has been the regular trademarks of this administration.”

We’ve not changed stance on oppression, intimidation of peaceful protesters — CAN

Meanwhile, the Christian   Association of Nigeria, CAN, said while it would not address the alleged arrest of #EndSARS protesters directly, it still maintained its stance against all forms of oppression and intimidation.

Spokesman of the apex Christian body, Pastor Bayo Oladeji said: “We cannot speak directly on every issue because CAN is not an activists’ group.

“Our major concern is the Church and how government policies affect Christians directly.

“We have spoken out against all forms of oppression and intimidation of peaceful protesters. CAN has not changed that stance.”

How Police deceived me to arrest Eromosele Adene – Sister

Also yesterday, a sister to an #EndSARS protester, Onomene Adene, explained how she was deceived by the police who arrested her brother, Eromosele Peter Adene.

Onomene, who appeared on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, lamented that she was used as bait by a group of security operatives to get to her brother last Saturday.

She explained:  “On Saturday (November 7), I got a call some minutes past 7am from a man who said he was formerly a church member.  He said he had gone to our church which used to be at GRA; we moved just before the lockdown to Ipaja.

“He said he went to our church at GRA and discovered that we are no more there, but he had a parcel for my dad who is the pastor of the church.

“Seeing that we were no more there, he came to Allen where we stay. He said he was at Solanke; I didn’t know where Solanke was and I told him to come to First Bank Bus Stop.”

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On getting to the meeting venue, Eromosele’s sister said she could not figure out the man’s face but discovered on approached him  that the parcel was not what he claimed it was.

She described the parcel as a black nylon containing some items, adding that it was then she realised that something had gone wrong.

“I just asked him (the man), how can I help you? And the next thing he said was he’s looking for Peter. ‘You are looking for my brother, why? While I was still asking, the next thing I heard was ‘these are my men’, I turned around and I saw three other men and I was like what’s going on here?

“He said he was looking for Peter; they bought commodities from him, they transferred money to his Zenith Bank account, and he didn’t deliver the commodities. I told him my brother does not sell anything; this story, I’m not buying it.

“My brother is a musician, he is a philanthropist, he is the owner of Belle Full Naija on Instagram, he takes care of the less privileged,’’ she narrated further.

Eromosele’s sister stated that despite giving the details of what her brother does, the men insisted that she must take them to her house, but she hesitated.

In the process, she said a group of policemen in three Toyota Hilux vehicles arrived at the scene, led by one Hamzat who is a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).

“They deceived me to get to my brother. When they got to the house, they were still telling the story of how they bought commodities from him and he didn’t deliver.

“Even when the lawyer came in, the lawyer asked them, ‘are you here to effect an arrest?’ And he said, no, and still, they took my brother away that same day,” Onomene said.

She faulted the reports tagging her brother as one of the conveners of the #EndSARS protest, stressing that he was just like every other normal protester.

According to her, Eromosele is a normal Nigerian youth with no particular or special role played in the #EndSARS protest.

Calling for the release of her 27-year-old brother because he has liver infection, Onomene said:  “He (Eromosele) not being in a place he is used to is not good for him because we fear that anything can happen to him, I am not saying harassment, I am talking about his health.

“So, he needs to be released.  During his Belle Full Naija last year, he went to about six states just to share alms. When he came back, he had some issues with his liver – may be the change of environment or the situation of the places he found himself because of his love for this country.”

She described her brother as a normal Nigerian youth with no particular or special role played in the #EndSARS protest.

Eromosele’s lawyer, Babatunde Jinadu, said his client had been in the clinic since his transfer to the FCID in Abuja from Lagos.

Jinadu said the police authorities were playing “hide-and-seek” with his client’s case but expressed optimism to secure his bail today (yesterday)  in Abuja.

“I am here to see him and I will still apply for his bail again after whatever investigation they want to carry out. And I hope they will grant the bail,” he stated.

Okeke sues Sam Adeyemi, Davido, Kanu Nwankwo, Tuface, others

In a similar development, a human rights activist,  Kenechukwu Okeke, has lodged a criminal complaint  against 50 persons over alleged roles they played in the #EndSARS protests that rocked the nation last month.

In the suit he filed before  an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court on Monday, the complainant who identified himself as a tax-paying Nigerian citizen that is “committed to ensuring the peace, security, as well as good government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, alleged that his properties were destroyed during the protest.

He urged the court to sanction all the listed Defendants for allegedly spearheading the #EndSARS protest that led to the destruction of his properties.

Among those he cited as Defendants in the matter are former Super Eagles legend, Kanu Nwankwo, Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, vocal female activist, Aisha Yesufu,  a former Director-General, Bureau for Public Sector Reform, Dr Joe Abah, as well as a journalist, Kiki Mordi.

Other celebrities that were joined as Defendants in the matter, are Musicians, including David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido; Folarin Falana, also known as Falz; Innocent Idibia, aka Tuface,  Peter and Paul Okoye; Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, Tiwa Savage,  Yemi Alade and  Michael Ajereh, aka Don Jazzy.

Also sued were social media comedians/influencers and actors such as Debo Adebayo, aka Mr Macaroni, and Maryam Akpaokagi, aka Taoma,  Yul Edochie, Uche Jombo, Feyikemi  Abudu, Olorunrinu Oduala, Pamilerin Adegoke, Japhet Omojuwa, Ayo Sogunro and Deji Adeyanju.

Specifically, the complainant, in the suit he anchored on  sections 88, 109(a), 110(1)(c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, insisted that all the Defendants instigated the #EndSARS protest that eventually led to violence and wanton destruction of public and private properties.

In a supporting affidavit he filed in support of the suit, the complainant, averred:  “That the 1st to 50th accused persons between the 3rd day of October 2020 and the 28th day of October 2020, using Twitter, an Internet web source with URL  within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst themselves to commit misdemeanour, to wit, promoting and acting in such a manner, with intent to assist in the promotion of #EndSARS and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 97(2) of the Penal Code Act, C53 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That the 1st to 50th accused persons with intent to carry out some common purpose, assemble in such a manner or being assembled under the composition of #EndSARS as to cause persons in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to fear on reasonable grounds that such assembly needlessly and without any reasonable occasion may provoke other persons tumultuously to disturb the peace.

“Properties belonging to the complaint were egregiously destroyed by some riotous and tumultuous persons instigated and incited by the 1st to 50th accused persons”, he added.

#EndSARS: We have not received any summon yet – 2baba Mgt

However, the management of Hip-hop singer, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba, said the music star was yet to be served any notice.

According to Efe Omorogbe, consultant to the musician, ‘’we have no comment at the moment as we have not received any notice or summons to that effect.

“We can’t respond to what is merely trending on social media.  Until we receive a summon we can’t respond.’’

We will meet in court— Dr Pam Pam

In his reaction, social media influencer and a key voice in the #EndSars campaign, Pamilerin Adegoke, also known as Dr Pam Pam Omo Iya Ologi on Twitter, seems to be unperturbed that his name appeared on the list of celebrities being charged to court.

His immediate response on his twitter handle was:  “We made the list again, Glory be to God. We’ll meet in court.’’

Other celebrities react

In her reaction, Aisha Yesufu@AishaYesufu tweeted: “My joy is that they got my name right and I am number one on the list.  Thank you #EndSars protesters. I am honoured to be part of you all.”

Fakhrriyyah Hashim @FakhuusHashim “Goodluck and felicitations to whoever lodged this. I’ve been listed in more… law suits this year than in my entire life. At least one quarterly. A Joke.”

Uche Jombo Rodriguez @uchejombo, tweeted:   “There are just somethings you can’t give your energy.’’

Modupe Odele @Mochievous “Maybe consider joining the incredible lawyers who are volunteering pro bono to help get peaceful protesters illegally detained out. Might be a better use of your time. Just saying xx.”

Ayodeji Richard Makun @AYCOMEDIAN also tweeted:  “Na only God know yur papa condoms leak on that faithful day. At least let still celebrate d fact that when neighbours called to ask ur dad “wetin madam born?” Him too Shout “NA BOY O! him name na KENECHUKWU, Son of OKEKE, we dey see ur public display of uncircumcised foolishness.”

Ayo Sogunro @ayosogunro “If you’re going to name me in a court process, do it properly. My full name is Ayodele Olorunfunmi Sogunro.”

Japheth Omojuwa @Omojuwa:  “Great lawyers have been sending me messages in case I need a lawyer. I told them to wait for when a lawyer with wits comes along, then we battle. You don’t battle fake lawyers that are impossible to even underestimate. Jobbers with delusions of adequacy. Nah.”

Feyikemi Abudu @fkabudu “Lmao. You don’t have work? I wish you all the best with this… At the very least, we can be glad that all these ‘my Lord can I may’ lawyers will still find work in these trying times. Small mercies. Must be the crack… Lawyers on the TL, your learned colleague is serving on social media. After you all stood in hot sun with wig? O wrong nau.”

We’ll ensure all issues raised by youths are resolved as quickly as possible — UN

Reacting to the #EndSARS issue for the second time in 24 hours, the United Nations said yesterday it would make necessary efforts to ensure that the issues raised by the youths were resolved.

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, who stated this when she appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said:  “What is the UN doing about that? We have been asked to provide support in three particular areas – first to make sure that these processes themselves can be stood up and can be ones that everyone is engaging in, and that can see the test of time over the next months and perhaps, years because this is a transformation that is going to take time,” she said.

According to the deputy UN chief, the second area where the UN’s intervention is needed is to support the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, in setting up the panels that will investigate some of the issues raised by the youths and come up with resolutions in the shortest possible time.

She identified the third area as the support required to underpin the Police Act of 2020 to ensure that the reforms would take root and allow for a communication strategy to enable the government to inform people on time that it can follow the process and see what was happening.

Mohammed noted that since the beginning of the #EndSARS protest, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres kept a close eye on how the demonstration was evolving.

She hinted that the UN was always involved in Nigeria’s affairs because the country was very much a part of the organisation.

“The UN support to the government is to make sure that we can put in those platforms, we can continue to support the bridge-building and the police reforms, the other governance reforms that have to be put in place to make this a reality in the short and in the long term,” she said.

She described the #EndSARS protest as an incredible movement of young people who were well-organised, well-intentioned, and had legitimate concerns and came together to make that felt.

Mohammed commended the courage of the youths for making some demands of the government on issues that had been worsened over time.

She said:  “I think that was a good thing. I certainly was proud of young people that I knew were part of this but very quickly we have to understand that when you go into a protest – and let’s remember we were all young and activists at one time – that you have to have an endgame.

“In this particular case, there were demands made of government and the youths succeeded because, in the shortest possible time, the government responded to say ‘we are going to take care of these first issues that you have raised and many more that were raised thereafter.

“That came to be, means that there is an engagement and that engagement needs to continue; it needs to continue by young people making sure they are there and pushing for those demands that they made to actualise.

“Government has to ensure that it has processes in place that are genuine, that we have confidence-building measures because trust is broken on both sides, and that we can move forward from the times of the protest.’’

Shi’ites petition NHRC over shooting of #EndSARS protesters At Lekki Tollgate

Meanwhile, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites, have petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged killing of unarmed #EndSARS protesters by security agents deployed to Lekki Tollgate in Lagos three weeks ago.

The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, received the petition from the IMN delegation at his office in Abuja yesterday.

While submitting the petition, the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, Abdullahi Musa, who led the delegation,   demanded diligent prosecution of those behind the massacre in order to assuage the pains of the victims and their families.

He also said that  purported evidence showing how sponsored thugs allegedly deployed by security agents to disrupt the protests in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and other major cities across the country abound in the social media.

Musa claimed that the attackers were on a mission  carry out a premeditated mass murder of protesters.

He added that the situation was worsened by the decision of Federal Authorities to clamp down on prominent voices and faces of the #EndSARS demonstration.

He said:   “Although the series of protests started with great coordination, they were subsequently sabotaged by government infiltrators.”