Police officers occupy Lekki toll on 1-year anniversary of #EndSARS protests

There's been a heavy deployment of police officers to the Lekki toll and environs.

Police officers in Lagos

Gun-totting police officers have occupied most of Island Lagos, on the one-year anniversary of the Lekki toll gate shooting of October 20, 2020.

At least one protester has been arrested and hauled into a police truck, and a journalist with Legitnews has been beaten by security personnel and arrested, at the time of filing this report.

The October 2020 protests against police brutality, extortion and profiling culminated in gunshots, when soldiers and police officers fired live rounds into a crowd of unarmed, peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll.

Amnesty International reports that at least 12 young people died on the night, with other reports claiming that the death toll was much higher.

Many were also left critically injured.

Arsonists and hoodlums seized on the breakdown of law and order that ensued, to burn down government property, buildings and buses.

Much of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, was engulfed in fire and smoke in the hours that followed.

A judicial panel of inquiry set up to investigate the shooting, packed up without submitting a report.

Young people had sent out notice that they intend to commemorate the events of the period with a car procession or drive-through protest, beginning from 8am today, October 20, 2021.

The Lagos State Police Command has however outlawed street protests in the city, with Lagos Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu announcing on the eve of the commemoration that only indoor or virtual protests will be tolerated.

"Therefore, in the interest of security and public safety, the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, wishes to warn the organisers of the protests that the police will deploy all legitimate means to stop or neutralise the planned protests," a statement from the police command in Lagos, reads.

To back up its statement, a horde of police trucks and personnel have been encircling the Lekki toll all week long.

Police officers have also been stationed at both Lekki tolls to crackdown on protesters.

Eagle-eyed police officers have also been prancing round Lagos to forestall any crisis and prevent protests.

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