In what appears to be an attempt to forestall another round of protests in Lagos, armed police officers were on Friday spotted at the Lekki toll gate.
According to SaharaReporters, a source, who works in Lekki confirmed the heavy presence of police at the toll plaza.
Also, a tweet by the Lagos State Police Command II (rrslagos767) on Friday, said it had deployed operatives to the toll gate, Ikoyi, Jakande Roundabout, and Eti Osa areas of the state, led by the head of the Rapid Response Squad, Yinka Egbeyemi.
The RRS shared pictures from the exercise on Twitter, stating that the show of force was done to deter crime as well as boost the morale of the officers in the areas.
The tweet read, “CSP Yinka Egbeyemi is presently leading a team of police officers on a show of force to Lekki Toll Gate (Admiralty Plaza) Obalende, Ikoyi, Jakande Roundabout, and other areas in Eti Osa as part of efforts to deter crime as well as boost the morale of his officers in the areas.”
The plan to #OccupyLekkiTollGate came after the controversial ruling of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry to reopen the Lekki toll gate.
The panel, headed by Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge, on Saturday ruled in favour of the Lekki Concession Company, LCC, to repossess the toll plaza for repairs and insurance claims.
The ruling was supported by five members out of the nine-man panel, with the remaining four members, including Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), dissenting to the ruling.
Following the decision of the panel, some Nigerians vowed to protest at the tollgate on Saturday, February 13, 2021, from 7 am.
But the police in Lagos on Thursday warned residents against such protest.
The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said ‘security agencies will not fold their arms’ as youths plan fresh protests against police brutality and extortion.
The police boss said such demonstration, whether peaceful or violent, will not be allowed to take place as the government and people of Lagos still nurture the wounds of the recent #EndSARS violence that wreaked havoc across the state.
The statement read, “I deemed it imperative to jointly address you and the general public with the Honourable Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, on the stance of the Police command on the proposed #EndSARS protest slated for Saturday 13th February, 2021, being championed by some individuals, Hashtag #OCCUPYLAGOSLEKKITOLLGATE, at Lekki Toll Gate plaza, Lagos State.
“Permit me to state in clear terms that organising any protest in furtherance of the recent violent and destructive #EndSARS protest will be counterproductive to the ongoing series of inquiries and investigations into many cases related to the #EndSARS violence and the present security situation of the state.
“Above all, the command has gathered intelligence that some hidden agents of destruction and shadow parties that planned and orchestrated the last #EndSARS violence have concluded plans to cause another set of mayhem in Lagos State and spread same to other parts of the country, tactically and spontaneously, like the recent violence.
“Premised on the available intelligence and due threat analyses carried out on the planned protest, the command perceives such proposed protest as a calculated attempt to cause pandemonium, brouhaha, and massive destruction of lives and properties under whatever guise and such will not be allowed in Lagos State.
“The Lagos State, its people, and the Nigerian nation at large are still groaning (in pains) for the aftermath of the last #EndSARS violence that left many lives and properties lost. It is therefore not reasonable to allow the same to repeat itself in the state. More expedient why such gathering should not hold is the prevailing Covid-19 virus which is rampaging in the country. You will all recall four days ago, the Federal Government Task Force on Covid-19 declared that the country now has 13 variants of the Covid-19 virus which makes it more deadly.
“With this development, all hands must be on deck to halt the spread of the virus by self-complying with its protocols major which is maintenance social distance.
“In addition, the judgement pronounced on the reopening of the Lekki Toll Gate plaza has been misconceptualized by the #EndSARS agitators, which I am sure the Hon Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Lagos State has addressed. The Panel of inquiry on #EndSARS violence in the state has taken drastic steps to forwards reports to the state government on the payment of compensations to affected individuals that were adjudged victims of Police brutality and excessiveness. The government has released some amount of money to take care of these compensations accordingly.”
Odumosu asked parents and guardians to discourage their children or wards from embarking on any protest in the state.