Police Calls on Lagosians to Ignore Calls for Fresh Protest at Lekki Toll Gate

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Police Calls on Lagosians to Ignore Calls for Fresh Protest at Lekki Toll Gate
Chinedu Ibeakanma
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Lagos state government and the Police on Thursday urged the people of state to shun calls for fresh protest slated for tomorrow at the Lekki Toll Gate.

They said the fact that two groups scheduled protests for Lekki Toll Gate would cause confrontation, pandemonium, public disorder and wanton destruction of property.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Hakeem Odumosu and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso made the appeal at a press conference addressed at Bagauda Kalto Centre, Alausa, Ikeja

Two groups, “Occupy Lagos Lekki Toll Gate” and “We Rebuild Lagos” had scheduled protest for Saturday at the toll gate over return of the facility to its owner, Lekki Concession Company (LCC) by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS and Related Abuses.

Addressing journalists, Onigbanjo said while the state recognises the importance of exercising the rights to peaceful protests, same cannot extend to blockage of roads and or preventing other members of the public from enjoying their fundamental rights to move freely within the state.

According to him, “the State is aware of Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, however such right does not permit the violation of the Rights of other citizens in the State.”

Onigbanjo reminded the people of the need to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 regulations and any other extant laws in the state stressing that the right to protest peacefully does not exempt anyone from violating laws.

He said any violator of the laws “will therefore be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

He further stated: “Any person or group with such desire to protest must also bear in mind the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Regulations 2021 which prevents any gathering beyond 50 and other safety measures including but not limited to maintaining Social Distancing and the use of face mask.

“Furthermore, any individual or corporate body who incites or condones any act leading to the destruction of public and private properties shall be prosecuted under the extant laws and in addition to any penalty the court might pronounce, such person or body will be liable to compensate for any damage which is as a result of the action or inaction of such person or body,” he warned.

The Commissioner for Information, Omotoso urged the people to allow peace to reign so that government could concentrate attention on rebuilding the state.

He said government is against the protest because there are those waiting to hijack it and cause chaos.

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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