Lagos, 10 November, 2020 / 6:40 pm (ACI Africa).
Reports of Nigeria's federal government seizing passports and freezing the bank accounts of protesters who demonstrated against police brutality orchestrated by the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a concern to the Archbishop of Lagos who has advised the authorities involved to “tread with caution.”
In a Tuesday, November 10 report, which the Director of Social Communications of Lagos Archdiocese, Fr. Anthony Godonu issued, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins advises the government to “tread with caution in its handling of prominent figures in the #ENDSARS protests that recently rocked the nation.”
For Archbishop Adewale, a cautious handling of demonstrators is important “so that wounds that are gradually being healed would not be reopened and the hope that trust would gradually be restored may not be lost again.”
Thousands of Nigerian youth took to the streets to protest against police brutality in October after a video that showed a purported officer of the defunct SARS killing a man appeared online. The height of the demonstrations was October 20 when army officers allegedly opened fire and killed at least 12 protesters in Lagos.
Following the demonstrations, a Federal High Court Judge made an order for the accounts of twenty people linked with the protests to be frozen for “a period of 90 days pending the outcome of an investigations being carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” Reuters reported.