Heavily armed, fierce-looking police officers take over Lekki tollgate

As protesters prepare to occupy Lekki Toll Plaza on Saturday, weapon-bearing security agents have laid a siege to the venue.

The move is geared at preventing anarchy, the government says.

Saturday’s planned demonstration was triggered by the decision of the Lagos Panel of Inquiry to allow Lekki Concession Company (LCC) repossess Lekki tollgate, protest organisers say.

The panel was set up to investigate allegations of police brutality levelled against the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The panel, although having no power to criminally prosecute anyone, was also mandated to probe the October-20-2020 shooting of protesters at the Lekki tollgate by Nigerian soldiers.

Since the panel was constituted, LCC was barred from collecting toll at the facility. But that changed on February 6 when the panel voted to return the tollgate to the company.

As protesters vowed to return to the streets to show displeasure at the decision, police have moved into the area to forestall violence.

“CSP Yinka Egbeyemi is presently leading a team of police officers on a show of force to Lekki Toll Gate (Admiralty Plaza) Obalende, Ikoyi, Jakande Roundabout, and other areas in Eti Osa,” state police rapid response squad (RRS) said on Friday.

RRS said the show of force was “part of efforts to deter crime as well as boost the morale of his officers in the areas”.

The armed officers will spend the night at the tollgate, The Realm News understands.

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