Police disruption of Lekki protest compels protesters to march in clusters
…as protest continues …security agents arrest 17 protesters
Young Nigerian protesters planned to occupy Lekki Tollgate today to prevent its reopening, security forces, however, were keen to foil their attempt. In anticipation of the heavy presence of riot police officers the protesters matched in smaller units forming clusters around the protest ground.
A young lady simply identified as ‘Light’, lead one of the units of protesters. Her cluster appeared out of nowhere into a spot packed with police officers demanding justice for the slain and the continued closure of the tollgate.
“Arrest me,” she screams. “We want to be arrested,” she continued as captured by BusinessDay correspondent reporting from the tollgate.
Some minutes after the group led by ‘Light’ seen, another group, also led by an unidentified woman covered in a white-dressed and a hijab matched forward making the same demands.
The presence of the small groups unsettled the police who immediately jumped to action, arresting the unit leaders.
Data gathered by BusinessDay from the Lekki Tollgate scene shows about 17 protesters have been arrested by the security forces.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police visited the location on a tour to observe if everything was under control.
Some of the names of the protesters who were arrested and thrown into the police Black Maria truck include; Babatunde, Achebe Bright, Godwin, and about three others.
A popular comedian known as Mr Macaroni was also arrested along with other protesters and taken to an unknown police station.
An eye witness told Businessday that three other persons who were not protesters but were walking pass the toll gate were also arrested.
The planned protest followed the decision of the Lagos State Judicial Panel to allow Lekki Concession Company to reopen the Lekki tollgate.
The tollgate has been shut down since October 20 when armed soldiers shot and killed some peaceful protesters who gathered at the toll plaza.
The panel of enquiry set up to look at the Lekki shooting incident approved the reopening of the tollgate following a prayer by LCC counsel that its order will allow the company to repair all damages done.
This came after five members of the nine-man panel led by Doris Okuwobi voted in support of the reopening of the tollgate, while four persons rejected, stating that the report of the forensic examination on the incident that took play is yet to be disclosed.