RevolutionNow protesters charged to court for 'unlawful assembly'

The six protesters were charged to court a day after they were arrested by police officers in Lagos.

A RevolutionNow protester challenges a police officer during a demonstration in Surulere, Lagos on Monday, August 5, 2019 [Sahara Reporters]

The RevolutionNow protest is a nationwide demonstration against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that took place in some states on Monday, August 5, 2019.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had in a Sunday statement described the planned protest as a call that amounts to "treasonable felony and acts of terrorism" and warned Nigerians against participating.

Despite his warning, protesters showed up for a demonstration at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, on Monday, chanting revolution songs.

They were met with dozens of police officers blocking off the entrance of the stadium in a bid to shut down the protest.

Shortly after the commencement of the protest, officers fired tear gas canisters to disperse the handful of defiant protesters and arrested some of them.

On Tuesday, August 6, the authorities arraigned six suspects in court on charges of unlawful assembly and conduct likely to cause breach of the peace.

The counsel from the State Criminal Intelligence and Information Department (SCIID) Panti, Ibijoke Akinpelu, said the gathering of the defendants was unlawful and created public panic, a violation of the provisions of Sections 44 and 168(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendants - Ehis Omoshomio, Gabriel Ojumah, Juwon Sanyaolu, Stanley Anobi, Elias Ozikpu, and Kenechukwu Ukachukwu - pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Presiding magistrate, A.O. Komolafe, granted five of the defendants, excluding Ojumah, N100,000 bail each with two sureties each in like sum. 

Ojumah, a lawyer, was granted bail based on self-recognition. The case was adjourned till September 26.

In its condemnation of the RevolutionNow protests, the presidency said only an electoral process determines a change of government, not a forceful overthrow.

Many Nigerians have condemned the crackdown on the protests, including the arrest of its main convener, Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Saturday, August 3 for allegedly threatening the harmony of the nation by plotting to overthrow a democratically-elected government.

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