A socio-political analyst, Comrade Austin Usman Okai, has taken a swipe at the Kogi State Government and asked Governor Yahaya Bello to release the peaceful anti-President Muhammadu Buhari protesters arrested in the state.
He stated that the hoodlums sponsored by the state government were wrong in filming the maltreatment of the protesters, saying there were court orders condemning torture internationally.
Okai noted that the use of torture for any purpose is not only crude and primitive but it is also an international crime.
He said, “Resorting to it as the first step at investigating any case is a clear case of lack of intelligence. In modern criminal investigations, if a crime is deemed to have been committed, is to take a look at likely evidence and intelligently to analyse them before any arrest is made.
“The Kogi State confidently posted a video of a gruesome application of torture on ‘arrested’ peaceful protesters. This video is on the internet and is proudly defended by the Kogi state government.
“Since when has protesting become a crime in Nigeria? I still remember the judgment secured by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, that permitted President Buhari (then a contestant for the office of the president) to not only protest without being molested by state agents, but also without necessarily seeking police permission.
“Arresting protesters from protesting i spite of a subsisting court order is demonstrating contempt for a judicial pronouncement. It also means crass ignorance. It may be that the state government does not even know that such a thing exists or they think that it is only applicable in Abuja.
“That’s not all. The punishment for a protest turned wild, which was not even the case in the situation under review, is not torture. The police are there to arrest anyone who breaches the peace. The suspected offender could be charged to court and the appropriate punishment would be legally meted to him.
“But what do we get in Kogi State? The state government, with its fascist tendencies, acts as if it is the three arms of government rolled in one. It is democratically weird to arrest and torture citizens for expressing their fundamental rights, side-stepping the police and the courts.”
Okai lamented the situation and called on the new Inspector-General of Police to remove Mr Edeh, the state CP, “for releasing protesters to the thugs as such behaviour was directly encouraging thuggery.”
He further berated the state government for promoting the reign of thuggery in the state.
He urged the Nigerian government to caution Bello about his use of lawless means to achieve his intentions.