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Protests in Nigeria over police brutality

By AFP

Added 9th October 2020 09:39 PM

Protestors gathered peacefully in the economic hub Lagos but in the capital Abuja, the crowd was met with teargas according to one of the organisers

Protests in Nigeria over police brutality

Police officers look on as a protester chants a slogan during the ongoing demonstrations to call for the scrapping of the controversial police unit at Ikeja. AFP Photos

Protestors gathered peacefully in the economic hub Lagos but in the capital Abuja, the crowd was met with teargas according to one of the organisers

Hundreds of people took to the streets in several Nigerian cities on Friday in a wave of protests against police violence that have left two dead. 

One protestor and one police officer were killed on Thursday while another sustained life-threatening injuries during a protest in the southern town of Ughelli, Hafiz Inuwa, Delta State Commissioner of Police told AFP, adding that nine suspects had been arrested.

Protestors gathered peacefully in the economic hub Lagos but in the capital Abuja, the crowd was met with teargas according to one of the organisers.

"Our members were close to 200 in the protest. We were teargassed," said human rights activist Deji Adeyanju.

People sit beside a police truck on the road to the government house while carrying placard in continuation of ongoing demonstrations


"It's just sad that they are clamping down on peaceful civil protest."

Anger has been brewing on social media after a video went viral showing the alleged killing of a man by a police officer in Delta state -- a video that authorities denied was real.

The man who filmed the video was arrested, provoking even more anger.

Nigeria's vice president denounced police violence when asked about the issue by reporters.

"I'm very concerned, in fact, very angry about what I see, happening to young men and women who are arrested, in some cases maimed or killed by men of the police force," Yemi Osinbajo said.

Protesters sit on car during the ongoing demonstrations


The movement initially targeted the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and even murder, but has since broadened to include all police forces.

While the SARS unit was suspended on Sunday, groups such as Amnesty International said the government had not gone far enough, pointing to previous unsuccessful attempts to ban the force.

The hashtag #EndSARS was the most trending topic on Twitter on Friday.

"There's a lot more people than yesterday. The movement is growing," 29-year-old Chinoso Esengba, a doctor participating in Friday's protest, said.

"This problem affects us all. We all risk being tortured, arrested, extorted for no good reason," he added.

Several Nigerian celebrities have expressed support for the movement.


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