A human rights lawyer, Mr. Ayo Ademiluyi, who secured the release of about 158 protesters arrested by the Lagos State government, has condemned the state government for arresting and detaining protesters who had picket the Government House in Alausa, on Wednesday, November 16.
The protesters had planned to sleep at the entrance of the Government House to agitate for their demolished homes at Otodo-Gbame Waterfront Area, but were met with batons of the Lagos State Task Force.
Mr. Maurice Fagnon, an anti-eviction campaigner and one of those arrested, said the protesters had taken up different sleeping positions at about few minutes past midnight when officials of the Lagos State Task Force came upon them, beating and shoving them into their holding vans. He said the mothers and elderly among the protesters were not spared as they all were manhandled and 158 of them arrested.
Mr. Ademuluyi said when he and some other lawyers visited the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the state, CID in Yaba, they were given no concrete answers to inquiries on why the protesters were arrested and detained.
“It is clear that the Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police are acting out the script of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos State, at whose doorstep we placed the arrest and detention of 158 protesters. The Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode led Lagos State since inception in May 2015 has led brutal clampdown on 32 waterfront communities,” he said.
The lawyer accused the Lagos State government of inflicting untold hardship on the poor to favor of the rich and influential in Lagos state.
“This major attack on democratic rights of peaceful protesters will not be taken lying low by their lawyers and the entire pro-working people movement,” he added.