No fewer than 400 lawyers have signified interest to provide free legal services to Nigerians under detention for protesting against brutality and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officials, Femi Falana, a human right lawyer, has said.
Naija News reports that Falana made this comment in an interview with a national television on Tuesday, where he noted that this was their contribution towards ensuring none of the Nigerians detained especially youths were denied their fundamental human rights and that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has also thrown their weight behind the protesters.
Human right lawyer said this was the first time a huge number of legal practitioners would be backing protesters in the country with their services.
“I am happy to announce that not less than 400 lawyers have volunteered to render pro bono services to the detainees. And this is the first time that a huge number of legal practitioners have decided to come out and support protesters. Even the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has also decided to get involved in the entire protest,” Falana said.
Falana, who is chairman, Alliance on surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), further outlined measures that could quell the ongoing protest across Nigeria, noting that the Federal Government must implement recommendations contained in the Tony Ojukwu judicial panel of 2018 and that the solutions outlined in the report go beyond SARS disbandment.
The legal practitioner argued that the government must set up a judicial commission of inquiry that would investigate alleged killings of protesters and policemen as well as implement laws already enacted by the National Assembly for funding the police, especially on welfare.
“The training of the police has to change particularly what happens in Police Colleges is primitive, the young men and women were often ordered to shave their heads and others. They needed to be treated like undergraduate in varsities and have human rights courses included in their curriculum.
“No Nigerian should be arrested in view of criminal suspects or for a civil wrong, for instance arresting a man’s wife after disappearing or for not appearing at the police station,” Falana said.