3rd July, 2021
By Moses Omorogieva/Lagos
Despite the massive presence of policemen at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, venue of the Yoruba Nation rally, agitators played some tricks to defy the cordon.
According to a NAN report, the activists came individually to the front of Gani Fawehinmi’s park, betraying no sign they were part of the protest.
While the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, was briefing journalists at the venue, the agitators began to bring out fliers, banners and putting on T-Shirts with Sunday Igboho picture printed on them.
Odumosu, however, appealed to them to be civil.
Odumosu said the group did not notify the Police about their protest and that, therefore, the rally could not hold.
NAN further observed that as the crowd surged and became thicker, the activists began chanting Yoruba Nation songs.
One man dressed in white, even walked to the policemen, demanding to speak to Inspector Jack. He was ignored as more protesters congregated behind him.
At this stage, the Police started using water cannon to disperse them.
Teargas was also used. Journalists were not spared.
The agitators, comprising men and women then retreated towards Ikorodu end for their safety.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed sources close to the Police said five persons were arrested at the venue and were taken away in RRS vehicle.
A 14-year-old girl, simply identified as Jumoke, was also reportedly killed by a stray bullet.
But the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, denied the report in a statement, saying the Police “did not fire a single live bullet at Ojota rally today”.
A eye witness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the body of the girl was found in front of No. 428, Ikorodu Road, closed to Ojota Motor Park.
A woman, Miss Tosin Oyemade, who claimed that the deceased was her salesgirl, said that she had sent her to go and open the shop while she (Oyemade) went to the church for an event.
“I asked her this morning to go and open the shop while I went to the church for an event, planning to join her later.
“My cousin called me while in church that the Police had killed Jumoke; I quickly rushed down only to see her dead body in the pool of her blood.
“I was told while the Police were shooting, that people started running towards the compound, where Jumoke fell down bleeding,’’ she said.
Another eye witness, one Mr Julius Onaguruwa, told NAN that he was amongst those running into the compound when the girl fell and bleeding from the chest.
The Police spokesman said in a statement that the Police did not kill the girl.
“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a news making rounds that a 14-year-old girl was hit and killed by police bullet today July 3 at the venue of the Oodua Republic Mega Rally in Ojota, Lagos.
“The command hereby wishes to debunk the rumour and state categorically that it’s a calculated attempt to create confusion and fears in the minds of the good people of Lagos State and the country at large.
“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 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 is not fresh,’’ Adejobi said.