At exactly 12:20 pm, Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, takes brisk steps toward one of the huge police vans (black maria) parked at the Lekki toll gate, after a brief meeting with some of his men.
Inside this van are #EndSARSMemorial protesters who had been picked and locked up on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
He asks them to identify themselves, one after the other.
Those who are able to identify themselves are let out, while those who aren’t able to identify themselves remain locked up in this van, in the sweltering temperatures.
“We will investigate those still locked up in the van. We are taking them to the police station. Once we ascertain that they are harmless, we let them go,” Odumosu says from behind a face shield, as dozens of other police officers mill around him.
Odumosu has apologized to journalists and anyone who was brutalized, harassed, and wrongfully arrested during today’s protests.
“That was done by Judases among us. By ignorant officers. This uniform I’m wearing, you paid for it,” the police boss lectures.
The drive-through protest is now over, moments after police dispersed young protesters with teargas canisters.
Earlier, a man who claimed to be an Uber driver was bloodied, pepper-sprayed, and dragged on the road, as police made to forcibly throw him into the van.
Today’s convoy memorial marked the one-year anniversary of the viral police brutality protests of October 2020.
On that date, young Nigerians protesting decades of police brutality and extortion under the #EndSARS banner were shot at by soldiers who had been ordered to enforce a hurriedly declared curfew.
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