The police in Lagos say five persons who participated in the Democracy Day protest at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park were arrested and later released.
Hakeem Odumosu, the police commissioner in the state, said no suspect was detained in connection with the protest.
“I want to emphasise that no single person is in police custody as a result of the protest (as at 1.30 p.m. press time),” Mr Odumosu said.
“Five persons were arrested at Ojota, I ordered my men to release them. I thank God no one was injured, no vehicle was damaged,” he said.
The police chief said that everywhere he had visited was calm, stressing that reports from officers showed that everywhere was calm in Lagos.
Mr Odumosu said the police had nothing against protesters as long as they were peaceful in their conduct, stressing that the only thing he requested from them was information about their protest, not permit order.
He said the information sent out by the protesters, through social media, requesting residents to sit at home created panic in the state, stressing that through a press statement on Friday, the directive was countered.
He said that his officials were deployed to various areas noted to be black spots as early as 2 a.m. on Saturday, stressing that his directive to his officials was that protesters had the right to do so peacefully.
The police had earlier attempted to use gunshots and tear gas to disperse the protesters at Freedom Park. But Mr Odumosu said they were targeted at those trying to cause trouble at the protest venue.
“The only thing I need from protesters is notification of their protest and not to seek for a permit so that we can provide them with security. It is their constitutional right to protest. If Police are not involved, hoodlums may hijack the protest.
“I also advised the protesters to write to the state government to make use of parks for their protest, that way, they will not block the major roads and cause heavy traffic gridlock.
“While they have the right to protest, other road users have right of free movement on the road.
“The police gunshots this morning at Ojota was as a result of some people blocking the roads leading in and out of Lagos at Ojota. I have the recorded video. The protesters may have good intentions, but criminally minded people blocked the road to commit crimes.
“I quickly ordered my men to appeal to the protesters to leave the road and use minimum force to liberate the road so that those going out of Lagos or coming in will not be held up in traffic, particularly this time where we have traffic robbery,” he said.
No arrest in Ogun
In Ogun, police said no protester or hoodlum was arrested.
Abimbola Oyeyemi, the state Police Public Relation’s Officer, made this known when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ota, Ogun State on Sunday.
Mr Oyeyemi said the state did not record any form of violence or criminal act from any protester during the democracy day on June 12.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, reported how police officers fired gunshots to disperse protesters in the Ijebu Ode area of the state.
“The police are fully prepared and on ground by deploying our personnel across to state to curb criminality and ensure safety of lives and property.
“The state was calm and peaceful due to the massive deployment of our men as the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Edward Ajogun, has ordered such directive to stem violence by the hoodlums,” he said.
Mr Oyeyemi reassured residents of their safety, urging them to continue to go about their daily business without fears.
He also enjoined residents not to hesitate to give reliable information that could help the police in arresting criminals in the state.
He warned young Nigerians to refrain from crimes that could lead them into trouble.
Mr Oyeyemi said that the police personnel would continue to be at various strategic places to ensure the safety of lives and property as well as reduce crime to its minimal level in the state.
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