Journalists and other members of the protesting youths were, on Wednesday, arrested by officers of the Nigeria Police Force during the memorial protest to commemorate the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protest in Lagos.
#EndSARS is a code calling for the end of olice brutality in Nigeria by members of the public.
A journalist reporting for an online newspaper, SaharaReporters, and some other protesters arrested by the Police operatives, led by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu.
Speaking to journalists after the arrest, the CP Odumosun said the command had ealier issued statement banning any form of protest in public places.
He said the ban on protest was to forestall destruction of lives and properties as witnessed in 2020 across the state.
He, however, said he will not allow hoodlums and miscreants to hijack peaceful protest by making it violent.
He said, “I held meetings with them yesterday and we agreed there will be no protest that will disturb lawful business of the day because Lagos State is the hub of economy in Nigeria.
“They should allow business to go on accordingly and no one should stop the movement of vehicles,” he said.
Odumosu further explained that he will be ready to provide security for indoor protest that will not lead to breakdown of law and order.
“Yesterday, when they were at Adeniyi Jones, I provided security. They were there and they had their seminars and when they said they were going to do protest today, I said no problem because I can’t stop you from moving with your vehicles, banners, singing peacefully but not aggressively,” the CP added.
He told journalists that only two of their colleagues were arrested because they couldn’t identify themselves.
He also disclosed that 10 miscreants were arrested with matchets, saying they may belong to the group that looted shoprite during the last protest in 2020.
His words, “we arrested 10 persons with matchet, are they protesters? and that’s exactly what happened last year. Are the protesters out to kill policemen? The protesters may be those that went to loot Shoprite and set several places ablaze.
“Lagos is the economic hub of the country and today is a working day and we all know the volume of traffic on this axis. We will not allow them break the law and cause disorderliness,” Odumosu stated.