Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A pro-democracy and human rights group, Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIDE), has lambasted the Federal Government for the harassment of #EndSARS promoters.
The group said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor was said to have frozen the accounts of the alleged sponsors and promoters of the recent protest across the country.
In the same vein, the group said that Police authorities were also said to have been arresting and charging to court those alleged to have been behind the protest.
The chairman of HURIDE, Mr Dede Uzor, in a statement called for the immediate sack of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, over their unprofessional disposition against the Nigerian citizens.
He said the secret arrest of the protesters and frozen of their individual accounts were a clear violation of their fundamental rights and attempts to limit free speech which is an inherent right of citizens in a democratic environment.
Uzor noted that the account of these people was frozen without their knowledge, almost two weeks before CBN got purported court order to effect the criminal freezing of their individual accounts.
The group also queried the wisdom and power of the court to freeze their accounts for six months without even hearing from them to ensure a fair hearing, accusing the judiciary of helping the current despotic regime to sustain despotism and impunities in the highest order.
‘We most despicably condemn the atrocious and obnoxious frozen of the accounts of the protesters and their unwarranted arrest and prosecution of the defenceless Nigerians without justifiable reasons.
‘It is illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of trust on the part of CBN to champion the freeze of the accounts of citizens who were merely exercising their freedom of expression before government allegedly and glaringly introduced violence that triggered off the hijack of the protest by miscreants” who unleashed terror with catastrophic human destruction.
‘They should concentrate on arresting agents of government who introduced violence into the protest and the hoodlums who infiltrated the protesters and hijacked the protest with a monumental loss of lives and properties,’ the group stated.
HURIDE said it would amount to a miscarriage of justice for the government to try to muscle the young Nigerians who want to achieve positive change for their country, noting that this government and indeed All Progressives Congress (APC) can never stay in power forever and if they block the opportunity to better the country it will sooner or later haunt them.
The group said the preoccupation of this government should be how to meet the demands of Nigerian youths to avoid a repeat of the protest which could be catastrophic.
‘The President Buhari should arrest those soldiers who killed innocent and defenceless and unarmed Nigerians youths at Lekki toll gates, those who burnt cars in Abuja and those who were behind the counter-protest that was peaceful,’ Uzor stated.