A federal high court in Lagos has slammed a N1m fine on the federal government for disrupting the #RevolutionNow protest of August 5, 2019.
Olukoya Ogungbeje, a lawyer, had instituted the suit against the government.
Ogungbeje who participated in the nationwide protest organised by Omoyele Sowore, said he was among those tear-gassed by security agents.
The appellant said himself and other participants were deprived of their right to peaceful assembly and association, as enshrined in sections 38, 39 and 40 of the 1999 constitution.
He argued that before agreeing to participate in the protest, he checked and made sure it was lawful.
Narrating his ordeal at the take off point in Lagos, Ogungbeje said: “I met agents and operatives of the respondents who had barricaded the venue of the peaceful protest for good governance in Nigeria.”
“I was tear-gassed by agents of the respondents and the peaceful protest was forcefully disrupted by the respondents,” he said.
“I have been denied my fundamental constitutional rights of peaceful assembly and association by the respondents, without cause.”
He asked the court to award a cost of N500m against the government.
Delivering the judgment, Maureen Onyetenu, the judge, described the disruption of the protest by the police as “illegal, oppressive, undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
She also condemned “the mass arrest, harassment, tear-gassing, and clamping into detention” of the protesters.
But the judge upheld the submission of the DSS that it was not involved in the disruption of the protest.
The court also ordered the federal government to publicly apologise to the applicant in three national daily newspapers.
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