The Osun State Police Command have arrested two people for being administrators of a WhatsApp group used for mobilisation for #EndSARS protest in the state.
PREMIUM TIMES findings revealed that two individuals, Babawale Popoola and Fisayo Aderemi, were arrested and detained since Thursday.
The police are claiming that the duo knew about the looting that occurred a few weeks ago as administrators of #EndSARS WhatsApp groups, hence, they are being asked to provide their members.
Sources familiar with the arrest told PREMIUM TIMES that the duo were arrested in the state capital, in Osogbo.
When contacted, the state police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, did not deny the arrest of WhatsApp group admins.
She, however, told our correspondent that the two persons detained played roles in the arson that followed the protests in the state. Asked why they were yet to be arraigned, she simply said “they are still being investigated. After the investigation, we will know what to do.”
For weeks in October, Nigerians were on the streets protesting against police brutality across the nation. They were demanding an end to criminality by security operatives and the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police.
During the agitations, dozens of persons were killed including protesters and police officers. Officers were also captured using tear gas and live bullets to disperse the protesters.
After the shooting of protesters in Lekki, Lagos by military personnel, hoodlums hijacked the protests. The hijack led to killing of more officers and attack on public and private properties.
The hoodlums also looted various warehouses across the country including the Osun state while in search of COVID-19 food palliatives.
To cushion the effect, the Osun government ordered curfew and asked that looters be arrested. So far, over 60 persons have been arrested and remanded in Ilesha correctional prison.
The state police command spokesperson, Mrs Opolola did not state the reason why the arrest of the two two WhatsApp administrators was not announced like previous ones. She did not also answer the question of when the duo will be arraigned.
The section 35 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution provides that the police should not detain any suspect for longer than 48 hours without a court order.
Several rights groups have also called on police against abuse of fundamental human rights.