Imoleayo Michael is facing prison for taking part in the #EndSARs movement in Nigeria. Take action now and demand the charges against him be dropped.
Imoleayo was taken from his home in the middle of the night. 20 armed men raided his home in Abuja, Nigeria while his family were locked in a room. He was taken by the authorities two weeks after attending an #EndSARs protest in October 2020 which saw young people across Nigeria marching against violence, extortion and killings by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, popularly known as SARS. Imoleayo, a young computer programmer, promoted the protests online using the viral hashtag #EndSARS.
Officers shattered his bedroom window and pointed a gun at him, forcing him to open his front door. They then seized his phone and computer, and locked his wife, elderly mother and seven-month-old son in a room and disconnected the power supply to the streetlights around his house.
After they took him away from his family, the Nigerian authorities brought Imoleayo to state security service headquarters where they held him in an underground cell for 41 days without access to a lawyer or his family. While there, he was cuffed, blindfolded and chained to a steel cabinet. He was also forced to sleep on a bare floor. All he had to eat was some porridge mixed with stones. Security officers interrogated him a total of five times.
Imoleayo suffered pneumonia and was eventually released on bail in December 2020. He is now facing trumped-up charges of ‘conspiracy with others to disturb public peace’ and ‘disturbing public peace’. Imoleayo is one of many people at risk of punishment for speaking out in Nigeria. The trumped-up charges against him must be dropped immediately.
Call on the Nigerian authorities to:
- drop all charges against Imoleayo Michael immediately