NBA president, group chide FG over clampdown on #EndSARS promoters




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President of Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, has expressed displeasure at clampdown by government on the leaders of the #EndSARS protesters.

This as advocacy group, Access to , condemned freezing of bank accounts of 20 of protest leaders by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

NBA president, in a post on his Facebook page, said actions of government were contrary to its earlier disposition.

Akpata wrote, “With all that’s going on in the aftermath of the #EndSARS , are definitely not smiling! @djswitch_ has gone into hiding after receiving threatening phone calls, Moe Odele’s passport seized and she has been prevented from travelling outside the country and Rinu Oduala and many have had their accounts frozen by the …this not the deal.”

Access to , in a statement on Sunday by its Convener, Joseph Otteh, described the freezing of the accounts of the #EndSARS protest leaders without a court order as an illegality.

“The is transforming into a partisan political organ of the government and putting its vast regulatory powers into illicit partisan political uses for the purpose of suppressing the legitimate exercise of constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression. This is appalling for a Central Bank for many reasons,” A2 said.

The organisation also expressed its disappointment in Justice A.R. Mohammed for agreeing to issue an order freezing the accounts without hearing from the protesters.

The group added, “Asking those caught and crippled by the order to apply to court for review after the order made is like medicine after death. They ought to have been heard in the first place, before the order made!”

‘Stop hounding protesters’

Meanwhile, a lawyer and former immigration officer, Daniel Makolo; and the Centre for Liberty have condemned the intimidation of #EndSARS protesters by the Federal Government, noting that security agencies have no right to hound the citizens for expressing their constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Sunday, Makolo said it was wrong for the government to be the accuser and the judge in the case against the campaigners.

He said, “To restrict any citizen’s movement is guided by ; if it is not by the court or during emergency or epidemic, detention or restriction of movement of anybody, it cannot be by the whims and caprices of the government.”

Makolo said the NIS did not have powers to seize a citizen’s passport without regards for the rule of and a court order.

“The claims made by the NIS spokesman should be challenged because the immigration officers at the airport would advantage of it to exploit the ordinary travellers as if they have the to confiscate passports,” he said.

The CFL condemned the arrest of the protesters on the police in Abuja and accused the government of forming “an unholy alliance with the judiciary” to oppress Nigerians.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Release all arrested protesters now,’ signed by the CFL Co-Conveners, Adebayo Raphael, Adeyanju Deji and Ariyo-Dare Atoye.

Group tasks to create inquiry panel

In a related , the Kano Civil Forum has urged Governor Abdullahi to establish a judicial panel of inquiry into the alleged SARS/police brutality of citizens in line with the directive of the Federal Government.

This was contained in a letter on Sunday addressed to the governor and jointly signed by the forum’s President and General Secretary, Ibrahim Waiya and Peter Tijani.