Legal practitioner, Ebun-olu Adegboruwa, has warned the Nigeria Police Force against stopping the May 30 protest by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Biafran Independence Movement (BIM) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
This is contained in a statement obtained by Daily Post Saturday morning.
Adegboruwa said after he read the statement by police spokesperson that the sit-at-home protest to celebrate the state of Biafra was illegal, he was glad that the police could not cite any law to back up its statement.
He said: “Under and by virtue of section 39 of the 1999 Constitution, every citizen has the freedom of expression. Sit at home, is a form of peaceful disobedience, recognized worldwide and employed as peaceful protest. It is meant to express dissatisfaction, in a peaceful manner.
“Under and by virtue of section 38 of the self same Constitution, every citizen has the freedom of movement, which includes freedom not to move. As government and the police cannot restrain movement, they cannot also compel movement. A citizen of Nigeria has absolute right to decide to move or not to move and this cannot amount to a crime under any law, to warrant the threat by the police.
“On May 29, 2015, General Buhari and his Vice, took a solemn oath to defend the Constitution and they cannot now seek to renege on that oath, by purporting to declare the Biafra sit at home illegal.
“I’m therefore calling on the President and the Vice President, to defend the constitution, by calling the Inspector General of Police to order. Let no Nigerian be harassed, molested, intimidated, arrested or detained, merely for daring to exercise his or her constitutional rights.
“I support the Biafra sit at home and urge the leadership of IPOB to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that it is peaceful and well coordinated. I urge all lawyers, activists and the good people of Nigeria, to join and support the Biafra sit at home and to resist the illegal attempt by the police to declare the exercise of a legal right, as illegal.
“To this extent, the threat by the police is illegal and unconstitutional and should be withdrawn. We are not under military rule but operating a democracy, propelled by the rule of law”.
Meanwhile, an Abuja-based rights activist, Osuagwu Ugochukwu has said that IPOB and MASSOB has no right to issue sit at home order, thereby forcing people, and business owners to close their shops and stay indoor on May 30th.
Ugochukwu said it was totally wrong for the group to force people who do not believe in Biafra to stay at home and stop motorist from moving in and out of eastern part of the country on May 30.
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