Imoleayo Michael, Nigeria

When young people took to Nigeria’s capital Abuja in October 2020, Imoleayo Michael joined them. They were marching against violence, extortion and killings by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, popularly known as SARS. The young computer programmer promoted the protests on Twitter and Facebook, using the viral hashtag #EndSARS.

Two weeks later, in the early hours of 13 November, 20 armed men raided Imoleayo’s home. They shattered his bedroom window and pointed a gun at him, forcing him to open his front door. Once inside, they seized his mobile phones and computer, then locked his wife, elderly mother and seven-month-old son in a room and disconnected the power supply to the streetlights around his house.

They took 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 oor. All he had to eat was some porridge mixed with stones. Security of cers interrogated him a total of ve times.

Imoleayo suffered pneumonia and was eventually released on bail in December 2020. He’s facing trumped-up charges of ‘conspiracy with others to disturb public peace’ and ‘disturbing public peace’.

  1. Write to Nigeria's Authorities

Write your own letter or use the sample letter below.

Honourable Attorney General of the Federation,

Imoleayo Michael is a young computer programmer who only wants a fairer, more just Nigeria. In October 2020, he joined other young people who were protesting against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad – or SARS – a police unit notorious for violence, extortion and killings. Two weeks later, armed men took him from his home and locked him in an underground cell for 41 days. He’s facing trumped-up charges and years in prison, all because he believes that Nigeria’s police can do better for the people they are meant to protect. I urge you to drop all charges against Imoleayo immediately.

Yours sincerely, ......

Address your letter to...

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice


Ministry of Justice

New Federal Secretariat Complex

5th Floor, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama

P.M.B 192 Garki, Abuja


Add a stamp and post your letter.

2. Show Imoleayo He's Not Alone

Send him your messages of friendship and hope to help lift his spirits in prison.

Write a message of friendship and support. Take a photo of it and post it on your social media channels, tagging him as shown below and using the hashtag #FreeImoleAyo.

T W I T T E R :

@imoleayomichael (tag @AmnestyNigeria)

FACEBOOK: (tag@ainigeria)