The Nigeria Police Force has accused #EndSARS campaigner, Eromosele Adene, of a series of criminal acts nine days after he was arrested and detained.
Adene was forcefully ejected from his Lagos home by over a dozen police officers on November 7, 2020 ahead of a planned protest in Lagos.
The 27-year-old was subsequently transferred to the Force Criminal Investigation Department at the Police Headquarters, Abuja, on November 9, before he was returned to Lagos late on Sunday, November 15, without any official explanations.
When he was arraigned before the Yaba Magistrates Court in Lagos on Monday, November 16, the Police requested that Adene be remanded in custody for 30 days pending investigations.
The defendant was charged for criminal incitement, cyberstalking, provoking breach of public peace, and conduct likely to cause the breach of peace.
Authorities told the court that he was arrested at the scene of a demonstration even though videos and eyewitness accounts showed he was arrested in his home.
The remand request signified that he was caught with exhibits and had made a confessional statement.
The magistrate, O. A. Salawu, adjourned the hearing of the request till Tuesday, November 17.
Adene was arrested only two days after the Lagos State Police Command announced that it would resist any attempts to stage protests ‘either “peaceful” or violent’
“The Lagos State Police Command has vowed to resist any form of planned protest, procession or gathering under any guise or nomenclature in Lagos State as the government and people of Lagos still nurture the wounds of the recent Endsars violence that wrecked havocs across the state,” the command said in the November 5 statement.
Adene’s arrest is believed to have been in connection with his call to stage a protest in Lagos, a continuation of nationwide protests against police brutality that kicked off in early October and culminated in the deadly attack by soldiers on peaceful protesters in the Lekki area of Lagos on October 20.
The crackdown escalated into a breakdown of law and order in Lagos and across the country with many incidents of looting and vandalism recorded, resulting into losses estimated in billions of naira.
The devastation has strengthened the government’s resolve to disallow any form of peaceful assembly guaranteed by the constitution.
A day before Adene’s arrest in Lagos, six people, including a journalist were arrested by the police during a peaceful demonstration at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
The six were accused by authorities of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, public nuisance, and inciting public disturbance.
They were remanded in custody by a Chief Magistrates’ court, and were only granted bail on Wednesday, November 11.