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Olumide Akpata

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the arrests of #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters by the police. Earlier on Saturday, more than 30 protesters were arrested at Lekki tollgate. The youths were demonstrating against the decision of the Lagos judicial panel, which granted approval to the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to continue operations at the tollgate. Operations at the tollgate have been suspended since October 2020, following a shooting incident involving #EndSARS protesters. However, Olumide Akpata, the NBA president, in a statement via his official Twitter handle on Saturday, described the arrests as against the fundamental rights of the protesters. He, however, added that the NBA will provide voluntary legal representation for all persons arrested in connection with the demonstrations. “The images & footages of the unlawful actions of the Nigerian Police at the Lekki Tollgate Lagos are truly shocking. The @NigBarAssoc condemns the brazen disrespect for the fundamental rights of unarmed citizens who are merely exercising their rights to peaceful protests,” the tweet reads. “We are currently working together with members of our Association to ensure the release of those detained. At the moment, we understand that the detainees are spread across Panti, Adeniji and Ikeja Police Stations and that they are currently being denied access to their Lawyers. “This is totally unacceptable and we call on the Police to immediately release them or allow them unhindered access to their lawyers. For protesters who do not have legal representation, the @NigBarAssoc is setting up a team of volunteer lawyers who will immediately represent them.”

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