The Nigeria Technology leaders have launched a campaign against the illegal arrest of citizens in the technology sector by the police.
The #StopRobbingUs campaign, led by Bosun Tijani of the Co-Creation Hub, Jason Njoku of IROKOTv, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji of Future. Africa and Oluyomi Ojo of Printivo, among others, came after a Lagos-based software developer, Toni Astro, on Saturday accused some policemen of detaining and extorting money from him after accusing him of being an Internet fraudster.
Astro, in a series of tweets, had alleged that the policemen accosted him around the Ketu area of Lagos State and requested that he followed them to the police station, adding that when they were on a motorcycle, one of the cops requested N1m as bail.
Astro, who stated that he told the policemen that he was a software developer, said he was harassed by the cops, who labelled him an Internet fraudster.
According to Astro, the policemen ensured that he withdrew half of the money in his account for them before he was released.
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said four policemen and three civilians had been arrested in connection with the matter.
In a statement on Monday, the tech leaders urged the Federal Government to intervene in the continuing illegal arrest and extortion of young people, who work in the technology sector by the police.
The leaders noted that the #StopRobbingUs movement would also consider a class action suit against police brutality.
Tijani, who noted that the technology sector was one of the job creating sectors, said police brutality was having a negative impact on it.
He stated, “Our request is simple. Stop arresting our colleagues. This is an ongoing concern for Nigeria’s tech community. A talent problem already exists in our sector, yet police, particularly SARS’ harassment, accentuates the talent drain in our industry.
“This is the central issue for jobs and youth empowerment in Nigeria and the continued illegal attacks on our country’s young people should be treated as a national emergency. Beyond its pro-innovation rhetoric, the Nigerian government continues to turn a blind eye to the robbery and psychological intimidation of young tech talent.
“We are social innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers and business leaders, who work in Nigeria’s technology and innovation sector. Over the last few decades, we have collectively helped to build an innovative and highly respected tech industry that has elevated Nigeria on the global stage and demonstrated that young Nigerians can do great things.
“The bedrock of our industry is Nigeria’s young and ambitious technology talent. They drive our operations, build our products, serve our customers and solve difficult problems for society every day.
“Without this talent, our industry will not exist. Nigeria’s tech community is mobilising and fast. Collectively, we have remained silent for too long. As of now, our voice will be deafening, and we plan to see the #StopRobbingUs campaign through to the very end.”
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Published at Mon, 30 Sep 2019 20:19:00 +0000