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Lagos Police justifies tear-gassing #EndSARS protesters in Lekki

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The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, has justified the use of tear-gas on #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on Wednesday.

Odumosu, who spoke during a chat with journalists at the Lekki tollgate, said the police fired tear gas at the protesters to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

According to the CP, the Force initially sent a memo regarding the prohibition on protests within a stipulated time frame.

Odumosu added that any demonstration beyond the agreed time constituted a nuisance and will not be tolerated.

The Commissioner said: “The protest was between 8 am and 10 am, anything, after 10 am, is a nuisance.

“I discussed with them and they said they will end the protest by 10 o’clock. Other people doing it now just causing a nuisance. some with machete, hammer, are they protesters or miscreants?

“The protesters are free; they have done their thing and left. Any other persons remaining are the miscreants, hoodlums that want to capitalise on that to attack innocent people and start robbing people. We will not allow that.”

READ ALSO: Group slams Lagos police boss over warning against #EndSARS anniversary protest

Ripples Nigeria had reported that police officers fired tear gas at protesters as they tried to disperse hundreds of people demonstrating against police brutality.

One year ago, thousands marched in Nigeria for the #EndSARS movement to protest the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit accused of police brutality.

In the days leading up to Wednesday´s demonstration, police warned protesters against any public gatherings, threatening to arrest anyone who disobeyed the directive.

Four protesters were arrested in Lagos just as demonstrators started to arrive at the Lekki tollgate to mark the anniversary. More were arrested and put into police vans as police shot teargas into the air.

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