About 15 new protesters have arrived at the Lekki tollgate to express their dissatisfaction with the ruling of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on the reopening of the toll gate.
Soldiers had on October 20, 2020, fired live ammunition at #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll plaza, leaving many injured.
It was gathered that over 30 protesters have so far been arrested, including popular comedian, Mr Macaroni, popular comedian, Debo Adebayo, also known as Mr. Macaroni.
The new protesters, who were led by an activist, Dabira, were arrested after arriving at the venue. Though a few of them initially resisted the arrest, the security operatives overpowered them.
Apart from arresting the protesters, their phones were also seized and some beaten.
Before her arrest, Dabira urged Nigerians to “stand up” for the country, lamenting that arresting protesters is “wrong”.
Mr Macaroni, in a Live Instagram before his arrest, said, “How did you think the reopening of tollgate is the next line of action? If you didn’t do that today, we won’t have a right to be here.
“It is a disrespect to say that you want to reopen at this tollgate. Are you spitting on the graves of the dead?
“Na military regime we dey? We also have a right to be heard. We have a right to protest peacefully.”
However, human rights activists and organizations have condemned the protesters’ arrest, saying that it is anti-democratic.
One of them, Amnesty International Nigeria, tweeted “Today Amnesty International received reports of the arrest of some protesters #EndSARS at the #Lekkitollgate #Lagos. We are calling on all Nigerian authorities to demonstrate the commitment to protecting the right to peaceful protest.”
The Federal Government and the police had earlier warned youths who planned to protest at the Lekki tollgate on Saturday (today) to have a rethink and shelve the protests.
But the young Nigerians, under the aegis of #EndSARS Season 2 and #OccupyLekkiTollgate, vowed to defy the government’s order.
The #EndSARS Season 2 and #OccupyLekkiTollgate said their action was informed by the decision of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry allowing the Lekki Concession Company to reopen the Lekki tollgate.
Earlier, a group, #DefendLagos, threatened to hold a counter-protest at the toll plaza but later suspended the plan.
Four out of the nine members of the panel faulted the report of the forensic experts hired to comb the scene for evidence.
The four members who faulted the forensic report also rejected the application by the Lekki Concession Company, operator of the Lekki tollgate, to take possession of the facility, which had been shut down since the probe of the shootings started.
The four members who rejected the forensic report are the two representatives of the civil society – Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) and Ms. Patience Udoh; as well as the two youth representatives on the panel – Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi.
But the chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, and four other members of the panel acceded to LCC’s request to repossess the tollgate.
The chairman was backed by Segun Awosanya (popularly known as Segalink), Oluwatoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens Rights), DIG Taiwo Lakanu (retd.) (representing the police) and Lucas Koyejo (from the National Human Rights Commission).