Sunday, 2 March 2014
Discipline DSP Noah Adesoyin, Mohammed Fawehinmi Urges IGP Abubakar; Calls on FG To Compensate Victims of Subsidy Protest Brutality
Mohammed Fawehinmi, son of the legendary human rights advocate and attorney, Gani Fawehinmi, has called on the Acting Inspector General of Police to remove the unfit leader of last weekend’s rally disruption team in Lagos from activities requiring culture and sensitivity. He also called on the federal government to compensate the families of those who lost loved ones during that protest.
In a statement released by his chambers, Fawehinmi (Esq) narrated how cruel the conduct of the Police Officer, identified as by Deputy Superintendent of Police Noah Adesoyin, was on Saturday as he ordered junior officers to attack the peaceful protesters with teargas. They were subsequently arrested and bundled to the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) division of the Lagos State Police Command after being manhandled and given criminal treatment by the police.
Adesoyin tear-gassed and disrupted the rally, which was organized in honor of those who lost their lives during the January anti-subsidy protests, saying, “Arrest them, brutalize them”, even as he had built a wall of armed officers to prevent the protesters from proceeding with their march.
The statement from Fawehinmi’s chambers said, “It is very sad that in the year 2012, Nigerians in peaceful procession despite permission sought and obtained from the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, were tear-gassed and beaten by the police. If they were armed, we would appreciate the combat mode adopted by the police. All those involved in the peaceful march were only armed with leaflets which they distributed to residents by the roadside and bottled water which they purchased along the way during this peaceful procession.”
Those attacked by the rampaging Lagos police include Professor Dipo Fashina, Mrs. Ganiat Fawehinmi, Mr. Abiodun Aremu, Mr. Ayodele Akele, Barrister Ikechukwu Ikedi, Mr. Tunde Agunbiade, Ismail Olawale, journalists and about 150 other processionals. Mohammed a wheelchair user, was himself being wheeled during the march.
The statement further said, “The action and directive given by Deputy Superintendent of Police Noah Adesoyin is not only despicable but runs contrary to Section 4 of the Police Act and Sections 36(5), 40 and 41(1)&(2) of the 1999 constitution [amended]of the Federal republic of Nigeria as amended.”
“36…… Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty: provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts…….”
“40 Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests:
"provided that the provision of the section shall not derogate from the powers conferred by this constitution on the independent National Electoral Commission with respect to political parties to which that the commission does not accord recognition…..”
“41 every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit there from.
Nothing in subsection (1) of the section shall invalidate ant law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society……” “In light of the reform contemplated by the new acting Inspector General of Police, we advise that only officers who are educated, can listen to reason and understand the situation on the ground and can make the appropriate decisions to salvage any situation; protect the image of the police and protect lives and property should be the only ones released into the field.”
The lawyer concluded his comment about the man he called "tough guy" DSP Noah Adesoyin, by recommending his transfer “to Maiduguri, Borno State where his skills of overzealous police officers like him can be best put to valuable use to tackle Boko Haram sect members and can be of immense credit to the Nigerian Police Force.”
He described DSP Adesoyin as “a disgrace to the police uniform” and being intellectually incompetent to handle any Special Unit in the Nigerian Police Force.