LEKKI TOLLGATE PROTESTERS DEFY POLICE,
Protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on Saturday went ahead to stage a protest, expressing displeasure over the reopening of the Tollgate.
The protest took place, despite the heavy presence of police officers there.
Brave Views reports that it was a tough time for the many Police officers drafted to the toll gate as they were struggling to arrest protesters who showed up in twos and threes on different occasions.
Some of the arrested protesters were locked in Black Maria, yet the officers could not prevent some of them from airing their views and disapprovals to the reopening of the tollgate.
Out correspondent reports that at least, twenty eight protesters, including those who claimed to be passersby were arrested at the Lekki tollgate.
The Protest, tagged #occupyLekkitollgate movement, was predicated on an order to reopen the tollgate by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry last Saturday.
The protesting youths are of the arguments that the reopening of the tollgate is premature since the investigation into the Lekki shooting incident of October 20, 2020, has not been concluded.
The Lekki toll plaza, which has not been operational since the commencement of #EndSARS protest, was completely shut down on the night of October 20, 2020, following the shooting of unarmed protesters by alleged officers of the Nigerian Army.
In the meantime, some other youths had vowed to #DefendLagos, in opposition to the planned protest giving rise therefore to a protest and counter-protest scheduled to hold at Lekki toll gate at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
Several pleas and warnings have been issued by the police, state government, the LCC and other parties, calling on the youths not to go ahead with the protest and counter-protest.
Lekki tollgate, which is operated by the Lekki Concession Company, has since Friday been under the protection of police officers, who were drafted there to foil the protests.
Attempted protests and arrests
Scores of police officers had been at the Lekki tollgate since Friday, to forestall any protest.
As at 6:30 a.m. this morning (Saturday), officers were holding morning briefings at different spots ahead of the protest.
No movement of protesters was observed at the tollgate until 7:47 a.m. when some police officers began rushing into their vehicles and heading towards Lekki Phase 1.
Shortly after, few protesters approached the toll gate on foot, with Police officers behind them, dragging them into the Black Maria belonging to the LCC.
About 13 protesters were arrested and driven to an unknown location in the first set of arrests.
A vehicle conveying a speaker, sound system, generator and some protest material was also impounded.
After the first wave of arrests, other protesters strolled to the Lekki tollgate in twos and threes, with some insisting on exercising their right to protest.
The Police officers and security personnel of the LCC also went to nearby streets to arrest people seen, questioning their presence around the tollgate.
Several arrests were made by the Police, comprising people who showed up for the protest and those who claim they were merely passing by.
As at the time of this report, more police officers, led by Yinka Egbeyemi, the RRS commander, have arrived at the Lekki tollgate.