The Lagos State Police Command has broken it’s silence over the Lekki Toll Gate incident, saying, it’s men did not fire a single live ammunition.
The police said the commqnd adopted crowd management best practices in engaging the unruly crowd, claiming that no life was lost neither was there any injury.
PLATFORM TIMES reports that the command issued an official statement regarding the crowd dispersal at Lekki Toll Gate that occurred on September 21, 2023.
The statement read that in accordance with prior arrangements, an agreement was established with the organizers of the candlelight procession, stipulating that the event would conclude at Muri Okunola, Victoria Island, by 8 PM.
The Police Public Relations Officer,Lagos State Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin said in the statement that the use of the Lekki Toll Gate was strictly prohibited, given its heavy use on the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
He said that regrettably, after the procession concluded as agreed at Muri Okunola Park, some individuals gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate with intentions unrelated to the #justiceforMohbad initiative, violating the established agreement.
He added that the Lagos State Police Command, upholding their commitment to maintaining order, invited the procession organizers to help disperse the crowd.
According to him, organizers also utilized social media to request that everyone return home, clarifying that this was not a protest but a concluded procession.
He explained that despite prolonged persuasion and appeals from both the police and organizers, the crowd remained defiant, causing a complete blockage of all lanes in and out of Lekki and severe traffic congestion on the expressway.
He stated further that recognizing the potential for chaos and lawlessness, the police, in line with crowd management best practices, resorted to teargas as a means of dispersal, with no live ammunition fired and no casualties reported.
“It is instructive to note that the Lagos State Police Command had an agreement with the organizers of the candle light procession that the procession was to end at 8pm latest and should terminate at Muri Okunola, Victoria Island.
” It was clearly stated for avoidance of doubt that in the interest of all Lagosians and considering the heavy use of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, the Lekki Toll Gate would be a no-go area.
“It, however, became disconcerting that after the procession duly ended at Muri Okunola park as agreed, with the police providing optimal security all through, some persons started gathering at the Lekki Toll Gate with intent to manifest objectives extraneous to the #justiceforMohbad initiative.
“Being a clear violation of the laid down agreement, the Lagos State Police Command invited the procession organizers who came back and joined the officers on ground in persuading the people at the toll gate to disperse peacefully.
“The organizers equally sent out messages on social media asking everyone to go home, clarifying in clear terms that it was not a protest but a procession which had been successfully concluded.
” This persuasion and appeal went on for hours, to which the police and organizers met defiance, both in words and action.
” At this point, all lanes in and out of Lekki had been totally blocked. Vehicular movement on the ever-busy expressway had been brought to a total standstill, leading to traffic build up.
“Having gone down this road before, having learnt from previous similar encounters, and having studied the pattern in the crowd, the red flags and early warning signs of total chaos and anarchy were discernible.
“Therefore, in fulfillment of our mandate to protect life and property, maintain law and order and prevent crimes, we adopted the least harmful method of crowd dispersal, following the failure of verbal persuasion – the use of teargas.
” Not a single live ammunition was fired! The police adopted crowd management best practices in engaging the unruly crowd. No life was lost neither was there any injury.
Hundeying in the statement however, disclosed that the Lagos State Police Commissioner has issued a stern warning to troublemakers, emphasizing that any individual or group disturbing the peace would face prompt arrest and prosecution.
He said the command expressed gratitude to the procession organizers for their cooperation and pledged to prioritize the safety of all Lagosians.
The statement further read “The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, hereby warns mischief makers that any person or group of persons found disturbing the peace of the state, under whatever guise, would be promptly arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“The Lagos State Police Command also appreciates the procession organizers for keeping faith with the Command and assures all supporters of #justiceforMohbad and Lagosians at large that it would continue to prioritize their safety and security at all times.”
Meanwhile, the command says that the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Ilerioluwa Aloba is progressing positively.
The public is urged not to create unnecessary distractions and to allow the Command to conduct a thorough investigation.
The Lagos State Police Command reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with #justiceforMohbad support groups and promised to provide regular updates on the investigation’s progress.
Do you want to share a story with us? Do you want to advertise with us? Do you need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348183319097 Email: email@example.com