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01.12.2021 news White Paper: Lagos Gov’t Dashes #EndSARS Prisoners’ Hopes for Freedom

Published 1st Dec, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

There is no assurance that citizens illegally detained in connection to #EndSARS protests in Lagos State last year would be released any time soon.

In a white paper released following the submission of a report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters, the state government says it has no power to release the detainees as recommended by the panel. 

READ ALSO: White Paper Contradicts Sanwo-Olu’s Statement on Deaths at Lekki Tollgate

Specifically, the judicial panel recommended that “all those arrested in the course of the protest be granted bail, prosecuted for any offence that may be alleged against them or where no prima facie evidence of culpability is disclosed upon the investigation, they should be released forthwith”.

In response to that, the government states that it is beyond its powers to release the detainees.

“The issue of grant of bail is a matter within the exclusive preserve of the judiciary. Lagos State Government however notes the recommendation,” the white paper reads in part.

Contrary to the government’s position that it lacks the power to release detainees, it had, in November 2020, ordered the release of 253 #EndSARS illegal detainees on the grounds that there was a nondisclosure of a prima-facie case them.

READ ALSO: SCARS OF #ENDSARS: Trauma, Pains of Detained Protesters’ Relatives

FIJ had reported how many more innocent Nigerians and a foreigner are still rotting in jail, with some yet to be arraigned, one year after indiscriminate arrests.

Published 1st Dec, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

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