Endless Injustice: Amnesty Reveals 15 #EndSARS Protesters Still Detained in Lagos Prisons After Three Years
Amnesty International, a prominent human rights organization, has brought to light a deeply concerning issue regarding the continued arbitrary detention of fifteen protesters who participated in the #EndSARS demonstrations of 2020. Despite three years having passed, these individuals remain imprisoned without a fair trial.
In a statement released on its official website last Friday, Amnesty International underscored that the majority of these protesters are being held in the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre and the Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre, both located in Lagos. What is particularly alarming is that they are being held without facing any legal proceedings.
Moreover, the organization has accused the Nigerian authorities of fabricating charges such as theft, arson, possession of unlawful firearms, and even murder against many of the detained protesters. This has raised serious concerns about the abuse of power and the violation of human rights in the country.
Isa Sanusi, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, expressed deep concern, stating, “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.”
The report from Amnesty International specifically names seven #EndSARS protesters, including Daniel Joy-Igbo, Sodiq Adigun, Sunday Okoro, Olumide Fatai, Oluwole Isa, Shehu Anas, and Akiniran Oyetakin, who have been arbitrarily detained in the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre. Additionally, eight other protesters, Segun Adeniyi, Onuorah Odih, Jeremiah Lucky, Gideon Ikwujomah, Irinyemi Olorunwanbe, Quadri Azeez, Olamide Lekan, and Sadiq Riliwan, are reported to be held without trial in the Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre since 2020.
The plight of one of the detainees, Daniel Joy-Igbo, a Beninois citizen arrested in Lagos in October 2020, reveals a disturbing lack of legal due process. He disclosed that he has been held at various police facilities, including the Bar Beach Police Station, the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, and a SARS facility in Ikeja. Despite being arraigned in December 2020, he has not seen the inside of a courtroom since then.
Sodiq Adigun, another protester arrested in October 2020, expressed his anguish, saying, “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.” These statements underscore the human toll of prolonged arbitrary detention without trial.
The situation described by Amnesty International raises serious concerns about the state of human rights and the justice system in Nigeria. The call for the immediate and unconditional release of these protesters resonates as a call for justice, due process, and respect for human rights.