By: Robert Egbe and Oyebola Owolabi
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said policemen who allegedly brutalised #OccupyLekkiTollgate protesters at the Lekki tollgate last Saturday won’t go free.
Information and Strategy Commissioner Gbenga Omotoso stated this on Monday at a media briefing organised by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).
He said Sanwo-Olu never directed the police to assault anyone and would not stand by and watch Lagosians being brutalised.
Omotoso and LCC Managing Director Yomi Omomuwasan were responding to the controversy surrounding the firm’s repossession of the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza, called Lekki Tollgate Plaza.
The firm regained possession of the facility following a February 6 ruling of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS-related abuses and the Lekki Tollgate incident of October 20.
But the panel’s decision was opposed by some youths, about 40 of whom were arrested at the facility and arraigned.
Popular comedian and activist, Debo Adebayo (aka Mr. Macaroni), alleged that he and other protesters were stripped naked and beaten in police custody, while their phones were smashed.
Omotoso absolved the state government of complicity in the incident, saying Sanwo-Olu immediately directed the police to investigate the matter.
He said: “The governor is very unhappy with what happened on Saturday, that people were brutalized, and he has directed Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu to investigate the matter. Whoever is found culpable, I assure you, will not go without punishment. This is because Mr. Sanwo-Olu has said it loud and clear that he is not somebody who will abuse the rights of others.
“That’s why when the whole thing started, you will recall, he joined the protests twice. He waved the flag, he carried the placard and he took the position of the protesters to the President. Besides that, he addressed them. So, he is not going to be the one who will stand by and watch Lagosians being brutalised.”