‘No gree for anybody’: Lawyers fault Police caution

Aliya Moses
8 Min Read

Some lawyers, yesterday, faulted the warning by the Nigeria Police that the use of ‘No Gree For Anybody’, adopted by some Nigerians as the 2024 slogan was capable of instigating crisis in the country.

The slogan, which simply means ‘do not tolerate any form of nonsense from anybody’ or ‘do not allow yourself to be bullied by anyone’, recently gained popularity among Nigerians, especially on the social media.

Reacting to the trend, the Police Spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, who addressed newsmen, said intelligence reports show that the catchphrase was capable of plunging the country into crisis of monumental proportion.

The Force PRO noted that, although the slogan is seen as ‘normal talk’, those in the security community view it as a ‘dangerous’ slogan.

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“The new slogan for 2024, for young people is ‘No dey gree for anybody’.

“We have been informed from our intelligence that this is coming from the retributionary sector that might likely cause problem across the country.

“’No dey gree for anybody’ is being seen as just normal talk. In the security community, we have seen it as a very dangerous slogan that can trigger crises,” he said.

Lawyers, however, disagreed with the Police’s position.

Police have no power to criminalise expression — Falana.

Human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, described the warning as laughable, saying that the Police has no power to ban the expression which he said constitutes no threat to law and order.

“I no gree for anybody is an expression of antiquity and the Police cannot stop or criminalise it. When President Bola Tinubu came to Lagos recently, Nigerians expressed their feeling to him that there is hunger in the land. That is a form of ‘I no go gree’. The expression does not in any way constitute a threat to law and order.

Nobody can be charged to court for using that expression and, if the Police feel differently, they should refer us to the portion of the law that criminalises such ancient expression.”

Former 2nd Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Dr. Monday Ubani also cautioned that while the Police have the right to ensure peace in the country, it should not become a ground to infringe on the rights of the citizens to express themselves.

He said: “The security agencies are there to maintain law and order, so, if the Police say that they have carried out an intel which suggests that the slogan is capable of causing crisis in the country, they have a right to prevent it. In doing that, there must, however, be a balance. If people are expressing themselves without ulterior motives or the expression degenerating into a security threat, it will be wrong to infringe on people’s right to express themselves.

I think the slogan is just a motivation for people and generates the right spirit in them to do the right thing and stand against any form of intimidation or oppression and also improve their lives. As far as that is the case, it will be wrong for the Police to stop people from expressing themselves. What is important is peace and the Police has the right to ensure peace in the country. If there is no peace in the country, investor cannot come in so we must all ensure that there is peace in the country.”

Police warning unnecessary — Ufeli

Executive Director of Cadrell Advocacy Centre, Evans Ufeli, posited that the Police warning was unnecessary, saying the security agency clearly misunderstood the slogan.

He said: “The Police warning is unnecessary because the expression is not inciting. It is just a cultural expressing and does not input violence. I believe they have not really done a good research on the slogan. If you ask the youths and the millennials, they will tell you that it is a positive expression they have adopted to achieve their set goals for the year.

While some say they ‘No go agree’ for hunger and poverty, others say I no agree for oppression and intimidation around me. The society is dynamic and the Police should know that every season comes with a slang or expression. Since the expression gained traction, has there be any violence anywhere? The answer is no.”

Army adopts slogan to fight insurgency

Meanwhile, the army, yesterday, urged Nigerians to join forces with security agencies by assuming the acronym and saying, ‘We no go agree for all terrorists in 2024.’

Director of Defence Media Operation, Maj Gen Edward Buba, who spoke at the operational briefing of activities of the military against insecurity, noted that by saying and showing that “We no go gree for terrorists,” Nigerians would be showing they were with the military and security agencies in the fight against the criminal elements.

By joining in using the slang ‘We no gree for anybody,‘ which is currently trending among young Nigerians, the terrorists will know that time is up. Make Nigerians ‘no gree for terrorists this year.’ If you seen something, say something and we assure Nigerians of doing something.”

Gen Buba also urged Nigerians to be security conscious and report criminal activities in their environments to security operatives.

Lawyers protest against Police brutality

Meanwhile, lawyers in Lagos yesterday protested against Police brutality with call on the Inspector-General of Police to call his men to order.

The protest followed what they described as unlawful detention of their colleague, Olumide Shonupe, who they said refused to pay N30,000 to bail his client involved in a civil matter at Gowon Estate Police Division.

Read Also: No gree for anybody’ slogan can trigger crises in Nigeria — Police caution

The protesting lawyers, led by leaders of the NBA branches and rights activist, Mr. Falana, carried placards with different inscriptions, condemning the high-handedness of the police and their fragrant disregard to rule of law and human right.
Falana berated the Police at Gowon Estate, Ipaja for detaining Shonupe, who he said was performing his legitimate duty as a lawyer.

He said: “We decided to come together to protest against Police brutality because of maltreatment of our colleague, Olumide Shonupe by the DPO, Gowon Estate Station, Ipaja.

“We are making a case through him that Nigerian lawyers will no longer allow brutalization of lawyers and indeed other citizens.” he added.

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