Lagos orders release of 253 persons arrested over #EndSARS protests

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The Lagos state government has directed the release of 253 persons arrested in connection with the #EndSARS protests.

Moyosore Onigbanjo, the state’s attorney-general and commissioner for justice, gave the directive in a statement issued by Kayode Oyekanmi, director of public affairs in the Lagos ministry of justice.

The commissioner said 361 persons were arrested in connection with the #EndSARS protests, which campaigned for the dissolution of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the police.

He said the police forwarded 40 case files on the arrests to the state’s directorate of public prosecution (DPP).

Onigbanjo explained that a review of the temporary charges filed against some of the arrested persons found no prima facie evidence that they committed any crime.

He said 92 persons will be prosecuted, adding that it has been recommended that 253 others be released.

“Legal advice has been issued in respect of all the 40 case files received, and as at November 6, 2020, the directorate has been able to despatch legal advice in respect of 81 persons that are being charged to the various courts, while others will be despatched to court on Monday, November 9, 2020,” the statement reads.

“Out of the 361 persons, the director of public prosecutions shall be prosecuting 92 persons for different offences ranging from arson, stealing, breaking into buildings, armed robbery and murder, while the office has advised that 253 persons be released forthwith for non-disclosure of a prima facie case.

“In the meantime, two case files in respect of 16 persons have been advised for further investigation by the police.”

The commissioner assured that his office “will ensure that those arrested by the police are treated in accordance with due process of law, while it remains committed to maintaining the rule of law and ensuring peace and order in the state”.

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