The Lagos State Government has debunked in strong terms, an online story published by Sahara Reporters on the 16th of January, 2023 titled “Nigerian College Students Wiliams, Chukwuka arrested for #EndSars protest riot in Lagos Prison since 2020” stating that the news story is false and calculated to mislead the public.
A statement signed by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) said the case of the defendants, Dare Williams and Bethel Chukwuka were that of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery which is not related to the EndSars protest as claimed by the online news medium.
According to him, the defendants both conspired and robbed an Uber driver of his car on 21st December, 2020. They posed as passengers and were armed with a jackknife and went away with the victim’s Toyota Corolla car. They were later arrested by the police through a tracking device installed in the car.
Upon the conclusion of investigation, the casefile was forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) on the 8th of January 2021, legal advice was issued on the 22nd of February, 2021 and information was filed against the defendants and trial is ongoing before Hon. Justice Sonaike sitting at TBS.
The case of the defendants was never in any way connected to the #EndSars protests. The protest took place in October, 2020 and the defendants were arrested in December, 2020. The incident leading to their arrest on the 21st of December 2020 was a case of armed robbery and not a protest against police brutality.
The news is a total falsehood and rather unfortunate that the publisher did not seek the views of the DPP to verify the claims of the Defendants.
Onigbanjo noted that the State Government will continue to ensure that justice is pursued and the State is safe for all citizens to do their legitimate business.