RevolutionNow protest: Last time we had harassment of protesters was in 1948 – Falana

Renowned human rights activist and senior advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has again condemned the harassment of protesters of the #RevolutionNow rally across Nigeria by security operatives.

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Falana also condemned the arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, who is the organiser of the #RevolutionNow protest.

Speaking on a television interview on Tuesday, August 6, the senior lawyer said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is taking us back to the pre-independence era.

He said: “The last time we had this kind of harassment of Nigerians over the use of the word revolution was in 1948 when members of the Zikist movement launched a movement demanding for a revolution to end ethnicization of politics.”

RevolutionNow protest: Last time we had harassment of protesters was in 1948 – Falana

The senior lawyer said that at that time, himself and his fellow protesters were not charged for treason but for sedition.

“But the provision in the Criminal Code on sedition have now been declared illegal and unconstitutional since July 1993 by the Court of Appeal because the Constitution guarantees the freedom of Nigerians to expression and free speech,” Falana said.

Citing other protest, Falana recalled that in 2011, General Buhari publicly recommended Egyptian style revolution for Nigeria.

“The President is now being challenged with his own involvement in protests in the past. Nigerians are now saying there must be consistency on the part of those now in government, some of whom were in NADECO and took part in protests with us,” he said.

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He also noted that the last rally organised by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja 2014 was against insecurity in the country and other Nigerians now are protesting against insecurity.

“You cannot clampdown on them and it is important for you to recognise our rights as yours was recognised.”

“There can be no justification for what the government is doing now. I also think that the government has not been exposed to sound legal advice before embarking on clampdown on protesters,” the senior lawyer added.

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