A human rights activist, Collins Uzomah narrates his ordeal in the hands of the Police as a result of his activisms during the #ENDSARS protest which took place on October 7th to 20th 2020 across major cities in Nigeria and International countries by Nigerians in Diaspora.
“My freedom of movement is restricted presently because I’m hiding from Police against unlawful arrest and persecution.
“I was first arrested for my activism and lawful disobedience during EndSARS protest. I was detained unlawfully by Police for one month, immediately after the protest. I was later released on bail to Barrister Kingsley Oseghale, Principal Partner at Greystone Solicitors.
“The Police told my lawyer, that I was among the organizers and financier of the ENDSARS protest, that I must be held responsible for government properties that were destroyed during the protest.
“The Police officer later contacted the lawyer telling him to produce me that they want to charge the case to court.
“Today my family members are living in fear because the Police have stormed my house severally at night in search of me.
“My family life is in Danger at the moment, I can’t provide for my family because I can’t work. My freedom and movements are been restricted. The government don’t have respect for democracy and her citizens. If you are against their act of injustice or you belong to opposition political party, they will come after you, get you arrested. This action has led so many activists into seeking for humanitarian protection in other countries.
“The Federal and State Governments are carrying out this unlawful arrest and persecution of activist and organizers of EndSARS protests, claiming it is because of the massive destruction of Government properties and killing of Police officers.
“These unlawful killings and destruction of Government properties was carried out by protesting criminal elements and hoodlums among the lawful protesters. These hoodlums were given arms by the Federal and State Governments to high jack and disrupt the protest. They also instructed TV and Radio Stations not to report the real facts behind the protest.
“I need my freedom and respect for my Human Rights and want to reunite with my family again without fear of arrest and persecution.
“I was never in any way involved in the destruction of any government properties, looting, burning of Police stations and killing of Police officers. I’m innocent of these crimes levied against me and can never involve myself in such criminal acts because I am a law-abiding citizen, human right activist, a defender of human rights and I’m educated.
ABOUT ENDSARS PROTEST
The EndSARS protest was a protest that took place in all the states in Nigeria, it’s a centralized movement of the people, without centralized leadership, this was to avoid government unlawful arrest.
The mass protest was against Police brutality and extra judicial killings, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigeria Police with long record of human rights abuses in Nigeria.
The campaign called #ENDSARSNOW was to call the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria to disband the SARS unit after experiencing revitalization in October 2020, following more revelation of human right abuse by the unit and it extended to demand to include good governance and proper accountability by political office holders.
The status and aftermath of the Endears protest is as follows:
- The protest was suspended after two weeks of protest.
- The President of Federal Republic of Nigeria promised good governance and better life for Nigerians.
- The SARS unit was immediately disbanded.
- About 99 Nigeria youths protesting said to were shot dead at Lekki toll gate in Lagos by the Nigeria Army and Nigeria Police personnel and total of 25 youths were killed by security personnel nation-wide.
- About 75 Nigeria Police officers were killed and 205 Police stations burnt down during EndSARS protest across the country.
- Federal and State Government properties were burnt down and destroyed by protesting hoodlum.
- Covid 19 Palliatives warehouses were busted all over Nigeria and Covid 19 palliatives looted by protesting hoodlum
- The protest was reported by Local and International TV and Radio stations like CNN, SKY NEWS, Etc.
- CNN International was sanctioned by Nigeria Government and other local television stations shut down, for showing what happened during the EndSARS protest. They were force to pay fine for broadcasting the EndSARS protest.
- The Government of Nigeria are arresting people who they know were behind the success of the protest; activists, organizers’ and sponsors.
- The Lagos State Government set up a Panel of Enquiry to investigate what happened during the EndSARS protest but the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Army are not cooperating with the panel official because of the killings.
- The Families of Police officers killed during ENDSARS protest got 10million Naira each from Lagos State Government as compensation.
- Many activists, organizers and sponsors of EndSARS Protest have travelled to America, Canada and Europe seeking for Asylum to avoid arrest by Nigeria Government. Even DJ Switch that did live video with her phone have been given asylum in Canada.
14.The Lagos State Government said the cost of fixing the massive damage during the ENDSARS protest is N1.4Trillion, over 3billion dollars.
- It was discovered that several youths were missing after the EndSARS protest, parents and guardians are still searching for their wards till date.
16.The panel received petition and complains from Nigerians, and disciplinary action was taken on the Police officers that were find guilty.
- Nigerians that captured the EndSARS killings by security personnel came up with videos and picture as evidence to the panel.
- The Lagos state government denied not knowing anything concerning the killing of youths by Police and Nigeria Army during the EndSARS protest.
- Fact came up that Lagos State government removed the CCTV so that there will be no evidence to show for the killings.
- The panel awarded compensation to families of protesters killed during EndSARS protest. The compensations are yet to be paid.
- It was alleged that Nigeria Army sold the 99 dead bodies of EndSARS protesters they carried from Lekki toll gate to a particular hospital in Lagos state.