#OccupyLekki Tollgate: Police order men to remain at tollgate indefinitely
The Lagos State Police Command on Sunday said policemen would be stationed at the Lekki tollgate until further notice.
Recall that there was a crackdown on the #OcuppyLekkiTollgate protesters at the toll gate on Saturday, during which about 40 persons were arrested.
They protested against the decision of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry to return the tollgate to the Lekki Concession Company.
The arrested persons, including popular comedian, Debo Adebayo, aka Mr Macaroni, were said to have been granted bail after the police arraigned them at a mobile court sitting at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, for “creating tension and behaving in such a manner that could cause breach of public peace.”
It was gathered that the decision to leave the policemen at the toll-gate was to forestall renewed protest.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said policemen had been deployed to five locations in the state, asides from the Lekki tollgate, adding that they would remain at the locations until further notice.
He said, “Our policemen are still at the tollgate, it is a deployment and we are working with an operation order and until there is a stand down order of the operation from the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, the men will still be there. We have not arrested anyone today (Sunday), there was no breakdown of law and order, no gathering or procession, everything is normal in the area.
“But we are still maintaining our ground there and we have deployment in about five places aside from the Lekki tollgate and our men are still on standby at these strategic places. We have police deployment in Unity Park, Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ogombo Junction, Adeniran Ogunsanya Junction, among others.”
Meanwhile, the command condemned the inhumane acts against some of the individuals arrested during the protest.
Adejobi, said in a statement on Sunday that the officer-in-charge of the SCID, DCP Adegoke Fayoade, had been ordered to analyse the trending video showing the arrested suspects being subjected to dehumanising conditions.
Adejobi said, “The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who was piqued by this unprofessional and inhuman act, has ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State CID, Panti, DCP Adegoke Fayoade, to analyse the video and bring to book whoever that must have been responsible for the act.
“CP Hakeem Odumosu reiterates that, inasmuch as the command is resolute in enforcing all laws in the state, it will not deviate from the Standard Operating Procedure of the Nigeria Police Force and provisions of the law in discharging its duties; noting that the command will fish out those responsible for the molestation and ensure they are punished for their unprofessional conduct.”
In a related development, one inspector A. O. Alaka, attached to the Lagos State Police Command, has allegedly arrested and harassed some ladies in a commercial bus for commenting over the #OccupyLekki protest.
It was gathered that the ladies, who were in the same bus with the policeman on Saturday condemned the attack on protesters at the Lekki tollgate.
However, when one of the ladies, identified as Chika Eze, wanted to alight from the bus at the Maryland bus stop, the policeman, who sat in front of the bus restricted her and ordered her two other friends to come down from the bus.
In a viral video posted by one of the ladies, Mayowa Babatunde, the policeman could be seen holding the hand of Chika while threatening to arrest them.
The policeman could be seen calling on other policemen at the Maryland bus stop.
Mayowa later told our correspondent on the telephone that Alaka and the other policemen threatened to lock them up in a cell for daring to speak against the Nigeria Police Force.
She said, “We boarded a bus from Ikeja going to Palmgroove and we started talking about how the police harassed Mr Macaroni and the other protesters.
“I said I could not allow any of my family members to join the police and that if any of my children wanted to join the police, I would curse the child.
“He was sitting at the front seat listening to all what we were saying and when we got to Maryland and my friend wanted to get down from the bus, he held her and asked the other two of us to come down from the bus and that he was going to arrest us.
“He called all the other police officers at Maryland; we asked him what our offence was. When the other policemen came, he told them that we were insulting and cursing him and we asked him if he was the one we were talking to or if he was among the bad officers we were referring to, but he didn’t answer.
“People at the bus stop were the ones begging him to allow us to go and when they asked us to beg him; we said we would not beg him because we were only talking and we have freedom of speech. The other policemen said if we would not beg, they would take us to their cell that after we’ve been there for three days, we will be humble and apologise for what we say.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the command had begun a search for the police officer.
He said, “I have seen the video and sent same to the computer section of the command to search for that inspector if he serves with us in the Lagos State Command. If not, we will extend our search to other police formations within Lagos State.”