The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has stated that at no time did the Nigeria Police place a ban on peaceful public protest or procession anywhere in Nigeria, particularly the Federal Capital Territory.
In a statement made available by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, on Friday, the Police admitted that peaceful public protests and procession are an integral part of democratic norms in as much as it conforms to the rule of law and public order.
“The Nigeria Police Force recognises the constitutional rights of every law abiding citizen to express his or her view through public protest/procession and other legitimate means.
“In order to ensure that public protest/procession is not hijacked by hoodlums and miscreants to unleash mayhem and disturbance of public peace, persons or group of persons undertaking public protest/procession should endeavour to notify the Police to enable the Police protect and process the public procession through designated routes and destinations,” he stated.
He, however, warned that the Police will not condone any protest or procession on the public highways and roads inhibiting or disallowing public freedom and right of way.
“The Inspector General of Police is committed to the principles of democratic policing and adherence to international best practices in public order management.
“To this end, State Commissioners of Police and Police Commanders are directed to emplace strategies to protect and facilitate lawful public protest/processions as well as protect other members of the public who are not engaged in any form of public protest/procession,” he added.