IGP Idris’ Ban On BBOG Illegal, Says Falana

Femi-FalanaHuman rights activist and Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has described the ban on public protests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, as illegal.

The IGP gave the directive on Wednesday following a “clash” between the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy group and a pro-President Muhammadu Buhari group in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, lamented that through the ban, Mr. Idris had “exposed the federal government to avoidable embarrassment”.

According to him, “Sequel to the purported clash, the Inspector-General of Police had called the BBOG members and announced an illegal ban on public protests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Since the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people (including former members of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) who are now in the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government) to assemble peacefully and demonstrate without any official harassment have been upheld by Nigerian courts, the illegal ban on public protests in the Federal Capital Territory by the Inspector-General of Police will not be allowed to stand.

SEE ALSO: Ezekwesili Schools IGP Idris On Democracy, Citizens’ Rights To Peaceful Assembly

“More so, that it is principally aimed at stopping the demand for the unconditionally release of the Chibok girls from the illegal incarceration of the Boko Haram sect”.

Mr. Falana said instead of “demonizing” the BBOG campaigners, the country owed them a duty “for upholding our collective humanity”.

He continued: “By accusing the BBOG campaigners of engaging in subversion by legitimately demanding for the abducted Chibok girls, the Inspector-General of Police has exposed the federal government to avoidable embarrassment.

“Since the BBOG members  have demonstrated unprecedented courage and determination to continue to protest until Chibok girls are brought back home, the police and the security forces should be directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to desist from harassing them in any manner whatsoever and howsoever”.

Falana further stated that through “selfless sacrifice and uncommon commitment”, the BBOG campaigners mounted a global campaign “which drew the attention of all men and women of goodwill to the plight of the innocent girls and the mental and the psychological agony to which their parents have been subjected”.

“In particular, the BBOG members have successfully mobilised the United Nations (UN), world leaders and the global human rights community to demand for the unconditional release of the abducted girls.

“But for the effective campaign which has been relentlessly waged by the BBOG members through peaceful protests which are held on a daily basis at Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Government and the Nigerian people would have forgotten about the Chibok girls”, the senior lawyer said.

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