Suspected hoodlums on Thursday launched a reprisal attack on.#EndSARS protesters at the Secretariat/CMD road/Magodo axis of Lagos robbing them of their phones, cameras and smashing windscreens of cars and commercial buses.
The hoodlums numbering over a hundred, all dressed in black beret with guns, knives, iron rods and machetes, according to one of the protesters, Akin Ezekiel were from Agege area of Lagos state to steal from and dispersed the peaceful protest.
Ezekiel alleged that the hoodlums were sponsored by unknown persons that derived pleasure in the suffering of Nigerians.
For days unending, aggrieved Nigerian youths and undergraduates led by top movie and music stars took to the streets across cities in different parts of the country demanding an end to the aggressive and brutal activities of SARS operatives.
With the hashtag #EndSARS, these youthful Nigerians staged peaceful protests in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Onitsha and several other cities demanding for the dissolution of SARS, an end to police brutality, improved security, electoral reform, reduction in electricity bill, fifty per cent inclusion of youths in government amongst others.
Ezekiel explained further, “We were at the gate of the Secretariat this morning to continue with our peaceful protest. Suddenly, we saw a countless number of young persons all dressed in black beret. They unleashed mayhem on us and snatched our phones and cameras.
“They dispersed us with weapons. They stationed themselves at strategic corners around Secretariat on the lookout for whoever might be recording or taking shoots of the daytime robbing and harassment. These people were sponsored because I found it difficult to explain why youths would be attacking and destroying property in the name of driving home a point.”
As police officers shot sporadically in the air, protesters and hoodlum scampered to safety.
Lamenting unprofessional conduct of officers of the law, a Lagos-based Lawyer, Chief Babajide Tanimowo said officers and men of the Nigerian Police especially personnel of the SWAT squad should be subjected to a psychological evaluation to measure the level of mental alertness for the new task.
Tanimowo gave an account of how his client was assaulted and harassed by SARS officers. He said, “I give it to Nigerian youths for seeing to the dissolution of SARS. Nigerians can no longer be taken for granted. They cannot be oppressed in their own country. I could recall how some police officers and their civilian accomplice/informant called Wyclef assaulted and harassed my client before his eventual arrest in Ibadan, Oyo State in July 2020.
“You will be amazed by the extent of the display of unprofessional conduct in a viral video on social media platforms where my client was wrongfully tagged as a kidnapper and an armed robber even though the young man was tracked and arrested in a fraud-related offence with one of his former employers.
“Every suspect in a crime related case is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law but police officers prejudged a suspect before court sentence. “The incident involved a young man, Ojo Olumide Stephen and a lady called Towobola in Ibadan on the 19th of July, 2020 where police officers were seen verbally and physically assaulting the young lady.
“The video drew wide condemnation locally and across the globe. The police informant, who identified himself as Wyclef threw professionalism to the wind when he openly taunted and intimidated both Olumide and the young lady, calling them kidnappers and armed robbers without being convicted by a court of law,” he said.
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