Lawyer and human rights activist, Malcom Omirhobo has stated that it is time for the organisers of the ongoing #EndSARS protest against police brutality in Nigeria to apply the brakes on demonstrations.
Omirhobo who gave the advice on Tuesday during an interview on Arise TV, stated that the rights granted to individuals to associate and to assemble must be peaceful.
Speaking further during the interview, Omirhobo said that there must also be freedom of expression and movement but the rights afforded individuals (citizens) in the Nigerian constitution, he added, “are not absolute”.
When asked about the legal implication of the ongoing #EndSARS protests, Omirhobo said; “The legal implication of the ongoing protests in Nigeria is two pronged; first of all the government has the responsibility to ensure that there is law and order and there is peace and tranquility in the country. That is the right given to the government by the constitution.
“As individuals also, the constitution also given us powers to exercise certain rights and those rights are not absolute. I overheard the host of the show talking about protesters blocking roads and what have you.
“But the truth of the matter is that, where your rights end is where mine begins. You don’t infringe on other peoples rights because with the way the protests are turning out it might lose the support of others.
“The rights that are granted individuals to associate and to assemble must be peaceful, there must be freedom of expression and movement but these rights are not absolute. There are instances where these rights could be derogated or hijacked by unscrupulous elements.
“The constitution in a situation like this forbids you to destroy public property, constitute public nuisance and threatening the life of others. This same constitution as it were can take the life of an individual in defense of others.
“The constitution can take the life of an individual for destroying public property which is a possibility and that is why, I am saying that the #End SARS protesters need to know when to apply the break,” the human rights activist stated.
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