PROTESTERS’ RIGHTS AND JUDICIARY’S ROLE EMPHASIZED BY CIVIL SOCIETY GROUP

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A Nigerian Civil Society group, Coalition for the Protection of Democracy (COPDEM), has cautioned security agencies against intimidating or arresting protesters exercising their constitutional right to peaceful assembly. COPDEM highlighted that peaceful rallies are permissible under the constitution and should not be hindered. The group also stressed the importance of an impartial judiciary, urging it to deliver just judgments.

Addressing the media in Abuja, Barr. Ifeanyi Nrialike, the leader of COPDEM, underlined the need for citizens to express their opinions through rallies and protests. The group emphasized that such activities are constitutional and essential for a healthy democracy. COPDEM criticized the use of security agencies to suppress peaceful demonstrations, urging them to focus on tackling criminal and terrorist activities instead.

The group referred to a past instance in 2003 when former President Muhammadu Buhari was allowed to hold a rally during ongoing court petitions. COPDEM noted that Nigerians should have the right to peacefully gather and express opinions, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. The organization announced its intention to organize a peaceful protest in Abuja; calling on the Judiciary to deliver a verdict in the best interest of the nation on August 26, 2023.

 

 

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