The Yoruba nation rally embarked upon by secession agitators yesterday turned rowdy following the death of a 14-year-old girl, who was allegedly hit by a stray bullet.
Many others were also injured in the ensuing melee after the security agents fired bullets and teargas canisters to disperse protesters.
While the police denied the killing of the teenager, they, however, arrested scores of persons involved in the rally, which was banned by the Lagos State Government and the police.
The protesters had defied the warning issued on Thursday by the commissioner of police in the state, Hakeem Odumosu, banning the rally, but the promoters, led by the Yoruba self-determination group, Omo Ilana Oodua, insisted on going ahead with the rally.
As early as 7am, security operatives had taken over Ojota from Freedom Park in a bid to stop the rally.
The protesters, however, defied the police and mobilised to the venue, but they were met with stiff resistance from the police, who fired bullets and teargas canisters.
The protesters, as well as passersby and shop owners fled in different directions as the police dispersed them.
The protesters later converged on Ojota after news of the killing of a teenage girl got to them.
It was learnt that the police later arrived Ojota in over 20 patrol vans and several Black Maria trucks.
Some of the protesters alleged that the police team, led by the commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), ordered that those arrested be thrown into the waiting trucks.
One of the eyewitnesses, Taiwo Olanrewaju, told our correspondent that three Black Maria trucks were filled with those arrested before it zoomed off to the headquarters of the command.
While the protest at Ojota was on, a similar fracas occurred at Tin-Can Island between the police and commercial motorcycle riders.
It was learnt that several persons sustained injuries in the fracas, while unknown number of motorcycles were seized by the policemen from the Area B command and Apapa police station.
Chukwudi Ebubechukwu, a clearing agent, said both Customs officers and agents took to their heels during the mayhem.
The police public relations officer, Lagos State command, Muyiwa Adejobi, did not confirm the number of people arrested and how many were injured in the rally at Ojota.
He said the girl was not killed by the police, adding that she was found with dried blood stain far from the scene of the protest.
“The command did not fire a single live bullet at Ojota rally today. The said corpse was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from the Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS filling station, inward Maryland, on the other side of the venue, with dried blood stains, suggesting that the corpse was not fresh. After a close look at the corpse, a wound suspectedly sustained from a sharp object was seen on it. The news is false and mischievous,” he said.
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