The Lagos State government through the office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) has directed the courts to release 253 persons arrested by the Police in connection with the #EndSARS protest in the state.
The directive was contained in an advisory by the state’s Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) where it noted that no prima facie evidence that they committed any crime existed.
The DPP statement noted that the Police forwarded 40 case files in respect of 361 persons arrested in connection with the #EndSARS protests for Legal Advice, between November 4 and 5, 2020 but 253 of them were found to be innocent of charges brought against them.
Of the 108 others left, the DPP explained that it will be prosecuting 92 persons for various offenses including arson, armed robbery, and murder while the Police has been advised to carry out more investigation on 16 persons.
The DPP statement by the Director, Public Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi explained that: “Legal advice has been issued in respect of all the 40 case files received, and as at 6th November 2020, the Directorate has been able to despatch Legal Advice in respect of 81 persons that are being charged to the various courts, while others will be despatched to court on Monday, 9th November 2020.
“Out of the 361 persons, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall be prosecuting 92 persons for different offences ranging from arson, stealing, breaking into buildings, armed robbery and murder, while the office has advised that 253 persons be released forthwith for non-disclosure of a prima facie case.
“In the meantime, two case files in respect of 16 persons have been advised for further investigation by the Police”.
It added that: “the Office of the Attorney General, Lagos State will ensure that those arrested by the police are treated in accordance with due process of law, while it remains committed to maintaining the rule of law and ensuring peace and order in the State”.