#EndSARS: Lekki protesters spend 20 months in illegal detention, lament delay in trial, starvation, hard labour


After spending one year and eight months in prison illegally, Ismail Muftao, Sodiq Sulaimon and Yahaya Mustapha, who were arrested for participating in #EndSARS protest in Lagos State in October 2020 have cried out over the delay in the trial of their case.

They also lamented the inhuman and degrading treatments they were subjected to by the prison officials which they said included; starvation, overcrowding, hard labour and beating by senior prisoners.

One of the protesters, Ismail, was detained at the Kirikiri maximum prison while the others were kept in medium prison.

They were arrested two days after the Lekki Tollgate protest and massacre at different locations. Sodiq and Yahaya were arrested in Ijora while Ismail was arrested in Ikorodu in his residence by thugs allegedly sponsored by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and by the Nigerian police.

Ismail was reportedly beaten to a stupor before his arrest and was denied access to his lawyer, families and medical treatment.

It was gathered that he was tortured by one Supol Yemi of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba, who later wrote a statement on his behalf incriminating him and forging his signature.
It was learnt that the case of the suspects had not come up in court since their last adjournment on December 17, 2021 to Friday, June 24, 2022 which was later adjourned again as the court could not sit on the ground that the court would be going for vacation.
The vacation which commenced on July 25 would end by September 16.
The case was therefore adjourned to September 23.

Findings revealed that the court actually gave the prison officials a date for the case after the December 17 adjournment but the prison officials refused to bring them to court, saying it was an order from above.

A civil society group, Enough is Enough ( EiE) had recently raised the alarm over the plight of the young Nigerians who participated in #EndSARS protest against police brutality who were still languishing in some correctional facilities across the country.
The group in a statement signed by its media assistant, Precious Ubah, called on the public, friends, or relatives of victims with reliable information to reach out to it for prompt legal intervention via any of their social media platforms.