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There’s no #EndSARS protester in detention, police tell Shehu Sani

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) says there is no #EndSARS protester in any of its detention facilities.

In a statement on Sunday, Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, said “nobody is being wrongly persecuted for participating in the EndSARS protest”.

In October 2020, many Nigerian youths protested in many parts of the country against the excesses of the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the police.

At the peak of the protests, some state governments declared a curfew to prevent a breakdown of law and order, while many protesters were arrested in cities such as Lagos, Rivers, and Ibadan.

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Speaking at a dinner organised to mark 2024 Democracy Day on June 12, Shehu Sani, a former senator representing Kaduna central, asked President Bola Tinubu to pardon #EndSARS protesters who are still in detention.

“Mr. President, there are some people who are still in detention as a result of EndSars’ protest. They were young people who were protesting for justice, freedom, and democracy,” Sani said at the event attended by Tinubu.

Responding to Shehu’s comment, Adejobi said, “all arrested individuals have been processed according to the law, and none remain unlawfully detained”.

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The force spokesperson said Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, had pardoned over 100 suspects arrested by the police during the #EndSARS protest.

“The Nigeria Police Force categorically denies the recent allegations made by Senator Shehu Sani at the 2024 Democracy Day Dinner on June 12, 2024, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, where the former Senator falsely claimed that some young people have been detained since the 2020 EndSARS protest,” the statement reads.

“For emphasis, no one anywhere in Nigeria is under police detention or being wrongly persecuted for participating in the EndSARS protest.

“The issues surrounding the protest have been debated, researched, and documented, and lessons have been learnt. We have forgiven ourselves and moved on.

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“We urge the public to disregard this claim and remain assured of our commitment to upholding justice, the rule of law, and human rights.

“We encourage verifying information before making public statements to avoid harm and incitement.”

DARE WILLIAMS STILL IN PRISON 

However, the claim by Adejobi that no #EndSARS protester is in detention or being prosecuted for participating in the protest may not be entirely true.

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TheCable understands that Dare Williams, a student of the Federal College of Education, Akoka, in Lagos, is currently at the Kirikiri medium prison for participating in the protest.

Williams was said to have been arrested on December 22, 2020, for allegedly posting a video showing a police officer covered in blood on his WhatsApp TV platform.

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However, Williams is being tried for an alleged conspiracy to commit robbery.

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