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Apologise for arresting, shooting teargas at harmless #June12 protesters, Falana tells police

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana has asked the Nigeria Police Force to apologise to protesters who were arrested during the June 12 nationwide protest on Saturday.

Falana who is the interim chair of the alliance on surviving COVID-19 and beyond accused the police of violating the fundamental right of expression of the protesters.

“The police should learn to respect the constitutional rights of protesters. It’s uncivilised for the police to be chasing and attacking unarmed protesters on the streets as if these citizens are criminals,” Falana noted in a communique on Sunday.

He however commended the protesters for conducting themselves in a mature and peaceful manner.

Falana also condemned the explanation of the police that the tear gas shot was to prevent hoodlums and miscreants from hijacking the peaceful rallies adding that there are lessons to take from that incident which he describes as unfortunate.

The rights activist urged future protesters to inform the police ahead of their action as demanded by law.

Meanwhile the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba says no protester was arrested on June 12.

The police spokesman justified the use of tear gas on protesters who took to the streets to mark Democracy Day by voicing their grievances against the government of the day.

According to Mr Mba, the actions of officers were in line with international best practices of dispersing violent protests.

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