FCT Minister citing COVID-19 bans #EndSARS protest

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has banned street demonstration in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

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The ban is contained in a Thursday statement titled ‘COVID-19: FCT Security Committee Prohibits Street Demonstrations’ by Muhammad Bello, FCT Minister.

This is coming despite Markets, schools and other heavy gatherings operating across the Nigerian capital after President Buhari lifted restrictions on movement.

“Due to the dangers posed by COVID-19, all street demonstrations, protests and processions will not be allowed anywhere within the FCT,” it partly quoted Mr. Bello as saying.

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Nigerians have been demonstrating since last week demanding the disbandment of the now abolished Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Despite scrapping the brutal squad, protests continued nationwide with the people accusing the government of being insincere with regards to reforming the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The ban by the minister is unconstitutional, according to human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.

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“Only the president can invoke the Quarantine Act under Section 4,” Mr Effiong said.

“While FCT is under president’s control, its minister cannot stand as a surrogate to invoke Quarantine Act,” the lawyer added.

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