The Lagos State Police Command has arrested six supporters of Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC).
The Police accused them of breaching the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency laws by pasting posters at night and damaging campaign posters belonging to candidates of other political parties.
According to a report by Sahara Reporters, a media organisation owned by Sowore, protest against the arrest was met with force at the Area F Police Station in Lagos on Monday.
The Police reportedly fired tear gas canisters into the the crowd a few minutes into the protest and also shot one protester, identified as Okoh-Oboh Omotese Annabelle, in the leg without administering any medical treatment. Ten of the demonstrators were also arrested by police officers and thrown behind bars.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command, CSP Chike Oti, had earlier disclosed that the six that were originally arrested were guilty of violating the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency laws.
He said, “The anti-crime patrol team of the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja Division, around 2:30am on December 9, 2018, arrested six young men, namely: Olagokun Odunayo, Kool-Kloud Henry, Ugaju Joseph, Damilola Omidiji, Michael Kate and Banwo Olagokun, tearing posters of other political parties and replacing them with that of the African Action Congress. Their action is contrary to the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency laws that forbid advertisers from pasting posters at no other hour than the day time.”
The leader of the team, identified as Olagokun Banwo, denied the claims by the Police as they wait to be charged to court.
Speaking on the arrest via his Twitter handle, Sowore wrote: “I just spoke with the DPO of Area F and he shockingly revealed that the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal ordered that our supporters be kept in detention for pasting my posters. Mr. Edgar hasn’t been reachable since”.
Sowore, a pro-democracy campaigner and human rights activist, has called for their immediate release from detention.
The Police Commissioner could not be reached at the time of filing this report.