Police arraign 51 over fuel subsidy strike in Lagos

The Nigeria Police said in Lagos on Tuesday that 51 suspects have been arraigned for alleged acts of violence during the recent fuel subsidy protest across the state.


A dependable source at the State Police Command, Ikeja, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the suspects, who were kept at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), were taken to Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.


The organised labour and the civil society groups had on January 9 called a nationwide strike to protest the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government on January 1.


The strike was, however, suspended on Monday, Jan. 16, following a reduction of the pump price from N141 to N97 by the government.


“I can tell you that 51 suspects were taken to court this morning for the violent means they used during the fuel subsidy protest in Lagos,” the source said.


According to the source, the suspects, who were armed with dangerous weapons, including cutlasses, sticks and iron rods, were picked up from different locations in the state.


“One person was arrested with a gun during the protest and his case will be treated specially, to ascertain if he belongs to a robbery gang.


“He will be charged to court after a thorough investigation,’’ he told NAN.


The spokesman for the Lagos Police Command, Samuel Jinudu, confirmed the arraignments, said the suspects were not arrested for their involvement in the rallies, but for using dangerous weapons to unleash violence during the protest.


On the alleged killing of a protester, Ademola Abiodun, at Ogba by the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Jinudu said investigations into the matter were still ongoing.


“The outcome of the investigations will be made public as soon as our officers complete their assignment,’’ he said.


NAN, however, learnt that the 51 suspects were brought to the court late and were asked to be further detained at SARS and rearraigned on Wednesday


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