Nigerian state bans police brutality protests

Abuja – The governor of Nigeria’s Rivers state has banned all forms of protests in the Southern state, including protests against police brutality.

Protests continued in the county on Monday even after a notorious police unit accused of unlawful arrests and murder was officially disbanded.

Governor Nyesom Wike said the ban on protests was because police had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

Wike said there is no need for any form of protest against a unit of the police force that no longer exists and ordered a crackdown against protesters.

Law enforcement agencies are also directed to ensure that the ban is enforced and that violators are brought to book,” said Wike’s spokesperson Paulinus Nsirim in a statement on Twitter.

Amnesty International Nigeria said the governor didn’t have the authority to ban the protests. It also wants him to be “held accountable for any violation of protesters”.

A police officer and a civilian have been killed so far in the commercial capital, Lagos, during protests on Monday. Eyewitnesses said there were also multiple casualties among protesters after police opened fire on them in the Surulere area of the city on Monday.

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the use of live bullets on demonstrators by the police.

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