ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Nigerian Police Force to intensify actions against Police intimidation, brutality, and the gross violation of the rights of Nigerian citizens.
The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi in a statement issued on Wednesday said “ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) is appalled by the actions of members of Oke-Odo and Area P Police Station in Abule Egba and Ayobo respectively, leading to the arrest of one of ActionAid Nigeria’s Social Justice Influencers, Actor and Director, Damola Olatunji and his Assistant.
We have been following the unfolding events with keen interest and it is important to state that the arrest and court charges against Mr. Olatunji are unnecessary and merely a show of force and power.”
Confirming the situation that led to the arrest of ActionAid’s Social Justice Influencer, Ms. Obi said the facts of the situation as recounted by Mr. Olatunji are:
• Whilst held in traffic along Abule-Egba road, he witnessed and spoke against Police intimidation and harassment of a motorcycle rider, popularly called Okada in Lagos. This led to his harassment and eventual arrest.
• Damola and his PA recorded their own harassment with their phones and were further assaulted as a result. The Policemen slapped the Assistant, seized his phones and both were manhandled and arrested like common criminals.
• Both have now been charged to court, albeit, presently on bail of five hundred thousand naira each and two sureties.
Ms. Obi reiterated that ‘‘Nigerians should feel safe to speak up against injustice and security agencies should desist from using brute arbitrary power and control as instruments for brutality, harassment, and intimidation. The Nigerian Police Force shouldn’t be portrayed as an agency for intimidating and harassing the public.
She concluded that “ActionAid Nigeria demands that the charges against Mr. Damola Olatunji and his Assistant on this case, be dropped with immediate effect. The situation need not degenerate into a show of power between citizens and a Security Agency.
ActionAid Nigeria is watching and monitoring this case closely and will continue to speak against this illegitimate arrest and unwarranted assault on its citizens.’’