Comrade Timi Frank, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), called on the Police Service Commission (PSC) to dismiss and prosecute Hakeem Odumosu, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Police Command, for illegally ordering teargas and arrest of youths who peacefully protested to mark the one-year anniversary of #EndSARS.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Frank, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and the Middle East, praised Nigerian youths, celebrities, artistes, and activists who, despite the police’s draconian orders, marked the first anniversary of #EndSARS with protests across several states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, with the slogan “We Will Not Forget 2010 20 Lekki Massacre.”
Following the illegal, cruel, and anti-people order by the Lagos CP, security officers used brutal force, pepper spray, and teargas against protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.
He also denounced the harassment, intimidation, manhandling, assault, and arrest of journalists during the protest, including Legit.ng Online reporter Abisola Alawode, PM News correspondent Taiwo Okanlawon, and the Arise TV team of Adefemi Akinsanya and Ope Adenihun.
He demanded the immediate release of all #EndSARS inmates who had been imprisoned for more than a year, as well as those who had been arrested during Wednesday’s mourning walk in Lagos.
He claimed that the police had failed to learn from the #EndSARS campaign, which was sparked by their crimes against law-abiding and innocent civilians, and have instead continued to treat Nigerians as slaves.
He insisted that the police are only willing to challenge and arrest bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements who make life unbearable for Nigerians across the country when it comes to arresting, teargassing, and pepper spraying peaceful protesters, but are hesitant when it comes to challenging and arresting bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements who make life unbearable for Nigerians across the country.
He also slammed President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaction in the face of police brutality against unarmed Nigerians exercising their democratic rights to demonstrate against social problems.
He reminded Buhari that throughout his time as an opposition leader, police were never employed to prevent him and members of his party from protesting.
Despite the country’s democratic dispensation, he lamented that the Buhari administration has grown increasingly autocratic and intolerant of lawful opposition, which is a key component of participatory democracy.
He urged members of the international community to prosecute the Inspector General of Police for overseeing a police force that has grown known in the country for grave human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, and corruption.
He asked the police to carry out their jobs in accordance with the law and to learn from their counterparts in other nations’ diligence, courage, demeanor, and decency.
He also urged on the National Assembly to look into cases of the Nigeria Police and other security services assaulting peaceful protestors and the media in Lagos, and to bring any erring operatives to justice.