BudgIT, a Nigerian civil society organization, has declared that it would seek redress against the Nigeria Police Force after one of its staff, Moses Motoni, was unjustly arrested in Kaduna State on Tuesday.
Mr. Motoni, a Project Tracking Officer at BudgIT, was arrested for teaching residents of Bida, Niger State how to hold leaders representing them both at the state and federal levels accountable. This action provoked Senator Sani Mohammed, representing Niger South of Niger State, to order Mr. Motoni’s arrest.
SaharaReporters learned that members of the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) tracked Mr. Motoni before arresting him through deception.
SARS officers sent Mr. Motoni a SMS saying they were DHL Nigeria and that they had a parcel for him to retrieve in Kaduna State. When Mr. Motoni arrived, SARS officers forced him into a car and took him to a police station in Kaduna before transferring him to Abuja.
The arrest and detention of the BudgIT staff led to a public outcry on social media, with many Nigerians demanding the release of Mr. Motoni.
The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Jimoh Moshood, claimed that Mr. Motoni was arrested for inciting public disturbance.
Following the public condemnation of his arrest, Mr. Motoni was released.
BudgIT, through its Communications Lead, Abiola Afolabi-Sosa, then announced that it would take legal action against the police for the unjust arrest and assault of Mr. Motoni.
“BudgIT intends to press charges for this unlawful arrest and detention of our Project Tracking Officer. We count this as an assault on democracy.
“We also ask that the Nigerian Police should respect the rights of citizens and embrace reforms that further professional conduct,” he said.
BudgIT affirmed that the rights of every citizen of Nigeria must be respected and the police should desist from any form of abuse against human rights.