Umahi to EndSARS protesters: What you're doing is constitutional

By Agatha Eze

Governor David Umahi has promised to employ all mechanisms that will stop Police brutalities in Ebonyi State, and stated that the #EndSARS protesters have not gone contrarily to the Nigerian constitution by engaging on a peaceful protest.

Umahi made this statement on Monday while addressing the #EndSARS protesters in front of the Old Government House, Abakaliki with his assurance to dismantle all security roadblocks as a part of tackling the conflicting issues.

The protesters who came out in a large number had earlier blocked all the roads leading to the major streets in Abakaliki were in their protests, charting songs against the activities of the Nigerian Police Force, calling the state Governor's intervention to end Police brutalities in the state.

Their Spokesperson, Barr. Stephen ugama, explained that the youths came out to express dissatisfaction with the actions of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) including other irregularities practiced by the Nigerian Police Force in Ebonyi State.

He stated that the Police brutalities have badly dealt with the youths in the state, by killing innocent citizens, engaging on an unnecessary arrest, detention, intimidation and extortion of people.

“Nigerian youths want an end to SARS brutalities and Police extortions. We want the state to align with other states to form a judicial panel to investigate the activities of SARS in Ebonyi State. We want compansations to the families of victims of police brutality in Ebonyi state. We want immediate release of those arrested and detained by SARS officials.

"We want the state to look into the activities of Ekeaba police station. It  has become an avenue to extort and abuse Ebonyi youths. We want the state to look into the activities of local taskforce in Ebonyi State."

While reacting, Governor Umahi assured the protesters that he would set up a committee to look into their demands and also promised to compansate families of persons affected by the Police brutalities in the state.

He equally promised to relate the complains by the protesters with the Ebonyi Commissioner of Police and the Army Commandant in charge of Nkwagu Military Cantonment to put an end to all checkpoints in the state.

“As far as I remain the Governor of Ebonyi State, nobody is going to molest you. You are fighting for your rights. You are fighting for your children. You are fighting for your future and what you are doing is constitutional.

“We are going to address the issue of Ekeaba police, we will set up a judicial panel of inquiry tommorow, to include youth representatives.

“Students and  representatives of human rights and other persons from the office of the Attorney General. They will receive and investigate the case of police brutality, human rights violations and related extra judicial case", he said. 

Umahi maintained that the panel would as well oversee the investigation to bring the evidence of police brutalites and other related issues concerning the welfares of youths in the state.

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