Amnesty International has said that a total of fifteen protesters arrested in 2020 are still being arbitrarily detained three years after the #EndSARS protest that took Nigeria by storm.
According to a statement by the international non-governmental organization on the third anniversary of the protest, the majority of the protesters are in Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre and Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre in Lagos without trial.
It noted that the Nigerian authorities have filed trumped-up charges including theft, arson, possession of unlawful firearms, and murder against many of the protesters, adding that some of those detained alleged that they had been subjected to torture.
“Our investigation shows the Nigerian authorities’ utter disdain for human rights. Three years in detention without trial is a travesty of justice. This shows the authorities’ contempt for due process of law. The protesters must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Isa Sanusi Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
Seven #EndSARS protesters – Daniel Joy-Igbo, Sodiq Adigun, Sunday Okoro, Olumide Fatai, Oluwole Isa, Shehu Anas, and Akiniran Oyetakin – arrested in Lagos in 2020, are being arbitrarily held in Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre, Amnesty International said.
Daniel Joy-Igbo, a Beninois #EndSARS protester arrested in Lagos in October 2020, who has also been detained at the Bar Beach Police Station, the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, and at a SARS facility in Ikeja, told Amnesty International:
“Since my arraignment in December 2020, I have been locked up in the prison without trial. Since then, there has been no adjourned date for my case. I have not been taken to court since December 2020.”
Sodiq Adigun, also arrested in October 2020, who was previously detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, told Amnesty International:
“Let the government release me. I have been detained since 2020 without trial. I am innocent. My life has been shattered. I need my liberty.”
Eight #EndSARS protesters – Segun Adeniyi, Onuorah Odih, Jeremiah Lucky, Gideon Ikwujomah, Irinyemi Olorunwanbe, Quadri Azeez, Olamide Lekan, and Sadiq Riliwan – have been detained without trial in Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre in Lagos since 2020.
“All those detained solely for taking part in peaceful #EndSARS protests must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Isa Sanusi
Torture in detention
The Amnesty International report added that many peaceful #EndSARS protesters have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention since 2020.
They include Oluwole Isa, currently held in Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre, who told Amnesty International how he was tortured while in detention at the SARS facility in Ikeja:
“I was tied with a rope. They bent me backward and tied my hands and legs together at my back. An iron rod was passed in between my tied legs and hands. With the iron road, I was suspended on an iron bar. Then, they started beating me with a machete and wooden batons. They were forcing me to admit that I was involved in vandalism during the #EndSARS protests. When I could not bear the torture anymore, I told the Inspector that I would confess. At that point, I was almost going to die. He brought me down; I still have the scar of the machete cut on my throat …”