As police were brutalising and arresting peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate on Saturday, other officers were harassing Nigerian ladies for merely talking about the demonstrations.
This was the experience of Twitter user @Stargious who said she was harassed by at least 10 police officers in Ikeja for sharing her opinion about the poor treatment of Lekki tollgate demonstrators.
The demonstrators had gathered at the Lekki tollgate to stop the Babajide Sanwo-Olu government from allowing Lekki Concession Company (LCC) resume toll collection until the dozens of Nigerians shot by soldiers at the venue last October got justice.
There was no incident of violence on the part of the protesters. But the police, who had laid siege to the facility on Friday, beat the demonstrators, seized their phones, arrested them and arraigned them before a mobile court for “breach of public peace”.
One of those beaten up was comedian Mr Macaroni whose real name is Debo Adebayo. They were arrested, hurriedly arraigned and later granted bail.
@Stargious and her friends got into trouble for talking about it. The officer who began the harassment had the name tag “Alaka”. He is the one seen in the video she recorded before the police threatened to smash her phone.
“A police officer said we were insulting him earlier this evening because we were talking about the protests and how Mr Macaroni and others have been treated badly by the Nigeria Police,” the lady said.
“We didn’t even realize he was on the same bus till my friend got down and he held her and said we would have to come down and follow him to the station for just talking.
“Since when did they take away our freedom of speech?
“This man called other police officers standing at the Maryland bus stop and they all came around to further harass us.
“He was going to break my phone so I stopped recording, and we literally had to apologise for talking.
“In Nigeria, we had to apologize for just talking about the #EndSARS and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria protest, we were not even actively involved.
“May God strengthen all Nigerians.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mention earlier that the bystanders were actually the ones who started begging all the police officers on our behalf and also stopped them from taking the three of us to the cell tonight.
“Also, they were more than 10 officers there. He wasn’t alone.”
Here’s the video: