By Biodun Busari
Lagos State Police Command has said that the October 1 rally proposed by the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi’s supporters and other youths cannot take place at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos.
The Commissioner of Police (CP), Abiodun Alabi said this in a statement released by the Command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin via Twitter on Friday.
Recall that Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, ruled two days ago, that Obi’s supporters popularly known as Obidients should not converge at Lekki Toll Gate.
As a reaction to the court order, Alabi said the police were not against the right and freedom of Nigerian youths to gather for rallies but would prevent them from converging at their proposed venue.
The police boss said the decision was germane to protect lives and property in Nigerian society in the statement titled, ‘Rally will not be allowed at Lekki Toll Gate.’
It read, “It has become imperative to reemphasize that no form of rally whatsoever will be allowed at the Lekki Toll gate tomorrow, October 1, 2022.
“This emphasis has become necessary to enlighten Nigerians that might be misled into converging on the toll gate. A court of competent jurisdiction has ruled that no person is allowed to converge on the Lekki Toll gate for whatever reason.
“In conformity with its mandate to protect life and property, the Lagos State Police Command under the leadership of CP Abiodun Alabi, fdc will leave no stone unturned in ensuring total compliance with the court order and an emplacement of adequate security in the state.
“While the Command is not averse to the peoples’ right to freedom of assembly and association; and expression, the Command will equally live up to its mandate of ensuring that no person or group of persons is allowed to infringe on the fundamental human rights of others, especially the rights to freedom of movement and right to dignity of human persons, especially under the guise of rally or procession.”
The police warned that anyone found violating the court order would face the full wrath of the law.
“The warning, therefore, goes that anyone found flouting the court order or infringing on the rights of other Nigerians will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Meanwhile, CP Alabi enjoins all peace-loving persons to go about their lawful duties without fear of harassment or intimidation, reiterating that adequate security assets have been strategically deployed to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians at designated rally venues and across the state at large,” it added.
In October 2020, Nigerian Lagos-based youths in protesting peacefully against the excesses of the defunct police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) used Lekki Toll Gate as their meeting point.