Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lekki Protest: Macaroni, 39 others freed on bail, trial adjourned

The protesters were released on Saturday.

• February 14, 2021

A Lagos mobile court in Yaba has granted bail to 40 protesters who took part in a campaign to block reopening of Lekki Toll Gate. 

Lateef Layeni, a magistrate, granted the protesters, including entertainer Debo Macaroni, N100,000 bail after taking their no-guilty plea on Saturday evening.

People Gazette was the first to report that 40 protesters were taken to Panti, a police unit notorious for handling criminal cases. Nigeria Police later arraigned them at the magistrate court in Yaba.

The protesters were charged with government’s order not to protest and violating COVID-19 protocol set by the government. But they pleaded not guilty.

The police in Lagos said the protesters violated the coronavirus safety measures but had all nonetheless been released from detention. 

The police “arrested forty (40) suspects at Lekki Toll Gate plaza, Lagos State, on Saturday 13th February 2021, for conspiracy, conduct likely to cause a breach of peace and violation of COVID-19 protocols.

“The suspects had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza creating tension and behaving in such a manner that could cause a breach of public peace without due regard for COVID-19 protocols major of which are the use of nose masks and social distancing.

“The command has however arraigned the suspects today to the mobile court at Panti, Yaba accordingly but were however granted bail by the court,” police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said in a statement.

The protesters were summarily arraigned hours after being humiliated by police officers, who filmed and circulated their agony in a rickety Lagos metro bus on social media.

The matter was adjourned until March 2.

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