Nine people charged and detained over the 2020 #EndSARS protests in Oyo state have been released by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Munta Abimbola.
They were among 100 inmates of the Agodi Correctional Centre, Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria, released on Monday and Tuesday, by the CJ under the prerogative of mercy. Justice Abimbola, however, said the release of the nine #EndSARS protesters has brought the #EndSARS cases in the state to a conclusion.
The #EndSARS protesters are Adeshina Muyiwa, Ikechuckwu Eze, Ariyo Sodiq, Ikenna Amaechi, Oyewole Olumide, Ariyo Afeez, Taoreed Abiodun, Adekunle Moruf and Rasheed Tiamiyu. They were accused of murder, stealing police rifles, and burning a police station, among others in connection with the #EndSARS of October 2020.
Youths in some states across the country in October 2020 protested against police brutality and specifically for the disbandment of a police unit notorious for extrajudicial killings and human rights violations – the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), hence the reason why the protests were tagged #EndSARS.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a 16-year-old boy (juvenile) charged with alleged murder was also among the inmates that were released. Justice Abimbola said the boy is underage and could be more hardened if he continued to stay in prison. He added that the teenager’s mother had agreed to take him for rehabilitation and that he (Justice Abimbola) would monitor him.
Justice Abimbola released the first batch of 58 inmates on Monday and released the second batch of 42 inmates on Tuesday. Speaking about the judicial gesture, the CJ said it followed the recommendations of the Oyo State Monitoring Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, which he led.
He said the committee considered cases and lists of inmates brought by the correctional centre by non-governmental organisations and the Ibadan chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association on the prerogative of mercy.