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Group knocks FG over rights violation

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• Seeks compensation, apology on girl killed at Lagos rally
Leaders of conscience, under the auspices of Nigeria Consultative Front (NCFront), jointly led by ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’aba, and former presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, have condemned the forceful disruption of a peaceful rally held on Saturday by Yoruba self-determination activists at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Lagos.

The incident culminated in the cold-blooded murder of a 14-year-old girl, Jumoke, by police stray bullet.

In a statement yesterday, the group said: “As a credible political alternative to the ruling powers in Nigeria, we wish to state unequivocally that the use of brute force to repress and quell self-determination agitations in the country, at this delicate period, is counter productive and may lead to violent struggle and anarchy, as experienced in other climes.

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“In the same vein, abduction of a fugitive, without an extradition order properly prosecuted, is unlawful and is nothing but official banditry; a precursor for self-help and anarchy in Nigeria.”

The NCFront said it “deplores the continued use of live ammunition by the Nigerian Police to disperse protesters, an action which led to the dastardly murder of the innocent 14-year-old Jumoke during the Lagos rally on Saturday.

“This act is regarded by our movement as bestial, criminal, and a gross abuse of state power. It shall be taken up by our legal team in court for the prosecution of the police and to push for compensation and apology to the family of the girl, as well as the immediate release of all those arrested in connection with the peaceful agitation for self-determination.”

The group added: “Citizens do not require police permit to hold rallies and protests to express their aspirations and grievances but mere notice of protest, to obtain police protection as done by the organisers of the Lagos rally on Thursday. A copy of the letter of notification to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police was sighted by our national secretariat.”

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