The Lagos State Police Command has issued a statement in response to the events surrounding the dispersal of crowds at the Lekki Toll Gate on September 21, 2023. The statement seeks to clarify the circumstances and agreements related to the incident.
According to the statement, the Lagos State Police Command had entered into an agreement with the organizers of the candlelight procession, stipulating that the procession would conclude no later than 8 pm and would terminate at Muri Okunola, Victoria Island. Additionally, due to the heavy use of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, it was made abundantly clear that the Lekki Toll Gate area was to be avoided by participants.
However, the situation took an unexpected turn when, after the procession concluded at Muri Okunola Park as agreed, some individuals began gathering at the Lekki Toll Gate with apparent intentions unrelated to the #justiceforMohbad initiative.
In light of this violation of the established agreement, the Lagos State Police Command called upon the procession organizers, who returned to the scene to join the officers in urging the individuals at the toll gate to disperse peacefully. The organizers also took to social media to communicate that the event was not a protest but a successfully completed procession and encouraged everyone to return home.
Despite hours of persuasion and appeals from both the police and organizers, some individuals remained defiant, leading to a complete blockage of all lanes in and out of Lekki and severe traffic congestion on the expressway. Recognizing the early signs of potential chaos and anarchy, the police decided to employ the least harmful method of crowd dispersal—teargas—after verbal persuasion failed. Importantly, no live ammunition was discharged during this operation, and the police adhered to crowd management best practices. There were no reported casualties or injuries.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, has issued a stern warning to mischief-makers, emphasizing that any individual or group found disturbing the peace of the state would be swiftly apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Lagos State Police Command also expressed its gratitude to the procession organizers for their cooperation and reaffirmed its commitment to prioritizing the safety and security of #justiceforMohbad supporters and Lagosians.
The statement also addressed the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Ilerioluwa Aloba. The public was urged to avoid creating unnecessary distractions and to allow the Command to conduct a thorough and timely investigation. The Lagos State Police Command pledged to maintain close communication with all support groups of #justiceforMohbad throughout the process and promised to keep the public informed of the investigation’s progress.
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