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SERAP Gives Nigerian Government 48 Hours To Release Anti-Buhari Protesters Detained In Kogi

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given the Nigerian government 48 hours to release the two Buhari-must-go protesters, Larry Emmanuel and Victor Udoka.

The two protesters were flogged and further assaulted by a mob and detained by the police for allegedly pasting posters said to be anti-President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, SERAP described the arrest and detention as unlawful, adding that the protesters were peacefully exercising their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.

It also vowed to take appropriate legal actions against the Nigerian government if the ultimatum given elapses.

According to the legal and advocacy organisation, the Nigerian authorities should respect, protect and promote people’s rights to freely express themselves and to peaceful protest, in line with the Constitution and international standards.

The tweet read, “BREAKING: We urge Nigerian authorities @NigeriaGov @PoliceNG to immediately and unconditionally release Larry Emmanuel and Victor Udoka who are reportedly arrested and charged in Kogi State solely for peacefully exercising their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.

“Nigerian authorities should immediately end criminal proceedings against them. Authorities should respect, protect and promote people’s rights to freely express themselves and to peaceful protest, in line with Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and international standards.

“No one should ever be arrested nor charged solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.

“Criticism of government is not a crime under Nigerian laws. Nigerian authorities should stop treating peaceful protesters as criminals.

“We’ll pursue appropriate legal action if Larry Emmanuel and Victor Udoka are not released within 48 hours.”

SaharaReporters had earlier reported how the Kogi State Police Command secretly arraigned the two Buhari-Must-Go protesters, Emmanuel and Udoka, in court, without giving them access to their lawyers.

The police in their desperation to harass the peaceful protesters also ensured that they were remanded at the Kabba Prison – without the knowledge of their lawyers or family members.

SaharaReporters learnt that the charges on which they were arraigned were not made public.

It was gathered that the lawyers of the protesters had not been able to set eyes on them since Monday, as the police who claimed to be in the custody of the two men, refused to bring them to their lawyers.

This is sequel to the torture which violent youths on Sunday gave the middle-aged protesters who were pasting Buhari-Must-Go posters in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

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