Nigeria tech leaders to sue police for victims
Leaders in Nigeria’s tech industry are calling on survivors of attacks by Nigeria police officers on young tech entrepreneurs and workers to register their complaints for the commencement of legal proceedings.
The #StopRobbingUs campaign was launched in September 2019, seeking an end to the practice of unlawful arrest, attack, kidnap and forcible withdrawal of funds from young people with laptops or any electronic gadget by officers of the Nigerian police.
Since its launch, the campaign has raised $45,000 to support public awareness and legal campaign and garnered support from some of the biggest names in Nigeria’s $2bn tech sector.
While a number of survivors have already registered their ordeals, the campaign is calling for more survivors to register their complaints to support the multiple legal suits. Survivors can contact the campaign via http://bit.ly/stoprobbingus-survivors.
“We want many more to come forward to share their experiences with us, so that we can come together as a community to fight these illegal detentions,” DIYlaw co-founder Odun Longe said in a statement.
“We have attempted to engage federal and government bodies, with some acknowledgement of the current situation, however we feel that due to the severity of the attacks on so many of our young people, virtually on a daily basis, the only viable next step is to take legal action against those who commit these crimes.”
The #StopRobbingUs campaign has formally engaged Probitas LLP as legal representation to drive the legal advocacy.
The team will be calling for the internal disciplinary process against the police officers involved to be more robust and to ensure that the guilty police officers are dismissed and punished, as a deterrent to other police officers. They will also deploy all legal options to stop the harassment and robbery of persons with laptops, casual dress and dreadlocks.
Probitas Partners LLP; BA Law; Babalakin & Co; Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore; Smithworth Partners; Pistis Partners and K & C Partners have agreed to render the service pro bono, with the #StopRobbingUs campaign covering expenses from the funds raised.
Chief ‘Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, OFR, will lead the legal team that include Tola Oshobi, SAN of Babalakin & Co; Chairman of the Lagos Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association Yemi Akangbe of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore; Mutiu Ganiyu of Smithworth Partners; Mayowa Owolabi of Pistis Partners, and Kelechukwu Uzoka of K & C Partners. Wale Irokosu, Managing Partner, Probitas Partners LLP will coordinate the strategy.
Survivors of attacks by police officers who wish to support the campaign should visit http://bit.ly/stoprobbingus-survivors to share details of their attack.
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