The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has ordered the release of three #EndSARS protesters who were arraigned by the police for alleged attempted murder before a magistrate court in Abeokuta on Monday.
The governor’s directive is contained in a statement on the official Twitter page of the state government published on Tuesday.
Mr Abiodun said: “On my instruction, the Attorney General has reviewed the evidence in the investigation case file in respect of the three suspects that were remanded in a custodial centre on 12th October, 2020. Ogun State has decided not to charge them with any offence.”
“They are to be released immediately,” the statement ended.
An activist, Omoyele Sowore, confirmed that the charge of attempted murder preferred against the protesters has been withdrawn. In a statement he made on Twitter, Mr Sowore said the Ogun State commissioner of police has promised to release the accused this morning.
“BREAKING: We just confirmed from the Attorney-General of Ogun State, Akingbolahan Adeniran, that the charge of attempted murder against 3 protesters has been withdrawn for want of evidence.
The Ogun State CP @PoliceNG has assured that the suspects would be released this morning.
“Good morning to you all, Comrades, let’s remain vigilant! Let the struggle continue, we will not leave any of our comrades behind and we will not stop this struggle until we achieve total liberation! #SARSMUSTEND #RevolutionNow”
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that the protesters, Adeniji Sodiq, Mutairu Faruq and Olatoye Joseph, were arrested at the palace of the king of Owu on Friday. They were alter arraigned on a four-count charge, including ‘attempted murder”, according to a copy of the charge sheet seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
The state police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had confirmed the development to our correspondent in a telephone interview. He said the suspect had been remanded.
He accused the protesters of attacking two police officers with a machete. He said the officers were in a critical condition at a hospital.
According to the charge sheet, the protesters committed an offence contrary to section 324 of the criminal code laws of Ogun State, 2006.
They were also accused of damaging property worth millions of naira, including a Lexus Jeep 570 bulletproof 2019 model.
Citizens’ Gavel, a civic tech organisation representing the protesters, said its lawyers “were unable to get them out on bail as the magistrate court does not have jurisdiction.”
Nigerians across the globe have taken to the streets and online since last week to protest against the highhandedness of the rogue Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the police.
There have been protests in Lagos, Abuja, Abeokuta, Anambra, Abia, Ibadan, Kwara , Ebonyi, Ibadan and other states across Nigeria.
The police unit was dissolved on Sunday but protesters have continued demanding reform of the Nigeria police to end extrajudicial killings by police officers.