‘Don’t Flout COVID-19 Rules, Block Roads’: Lagos Warns Lekki Toll Protesters



 

The Lagos state government on Thursday warned protesters planning to converge at the Lekki toll gate on Saturday to desist from flouting COVID-19 regulations or block roads.

The protests were scheduled after the Lagos state judicial panel decided to hand-over the keys to the toll gate back to the Lekki Concession Company.

Collection of fees at the toll-gate had been suspended since the #EndSARS protests which culminated into a bloody shooting on October 20 by military officials.

While some protesters are defending the decision to reopen the toll-gate, others want it reviewed.

READ ALSO: Any Violence In The Name Of #EndSARS Will Not Be Tolerated This Time – Lai Mohammed

“Our attention is drawn to the planned protest scheduled for Saturday February 13, 2021 at the Lekki Toll Gate for and against the opening of the Admiralty Toll Gate,” a statement from the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, said on Thursday.

“The State is aware of Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which guarantees the Rights to Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly. However, such right does not permit the violation of the Rights of other citizens in the State.

“While the State recognises the importance of exercising the Rights to Peaceful protests, same cannot extend to blockage of roads and or preventing other members of the public from enjoying their Fundamental Rights to move freely within the State.



“Any person or group with such desire to Protest must also bear in mind the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Regulations 2021 which prevents any gathering beyond 50 and other safety measures including but not limited to maintaining Social Distancing and the use of face mask.

“The Attorney General hereby enjoins everyone to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 Regulations and any other extant laws in the State. The right to protest peacefully does not exempt anyone from violating laws. Any violator will therefore be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The statement, signed by the State’s attorney-general Moyosore Onigbanjo,
added that the government will not tolerate any form of violent actions and urged the police to respect the right of citizens.

“Furthermore, any individual or corporate body who incites or condones any act leading to the destruction of public and private properties shall be prosecuted under the extant laws and in addition to any penalty the court might pronounce, such person or body will be liable to compensate for any damage which is as a result of the action or inaction of such person or body,” it said.

“The Nigeria Police is equally urged, that in responding to any protest, it should respect the rights of the citizen as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and carry out their duties in accordance with the law.”

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