Gabriel Dike, Lagos
About 18 members of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), including four journalists covering the protest against fuel hike and increase in electricity tariff, were arrested on Thursday by officers of the Lagos State Police Command.
The protesters and journalists were arrested at Ojuelegba and taken to the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, in two police vans.
Before the protesters and journalists were arrested, the police, led by the Area Commander, attempted to stop the protest but SPN members resisted the move. Some of the police officers asked journalists to stop recording the protest.
For about ten minutes, SPN National Secretary Chinedu Bosah and others told the police officers that they have the right to stage a peaceful protest but the officers asked them to produce a police permit that allowed them to be on the street.
A member of SPN and National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign, Hassan Taiwo Soweto, who was also arrested, said more than 18 members of the group were picked up by the police, adding: ‘I am unable to count now. We are in two police vans. Both the SPN National Secretary and myself the National Youth Leader are among. Now at the Lagos State Police Command.’
Hassan’s message further said: ”We have just been arrested alongside several other members of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and journalists for protesting this morning against fuel price hike, electricity tariff and deregistration of SPN. Typing this message at the back of a police van taking is to Area C.”
The list of those arrested include Dagga Tolar, SPN NEC member; Chinedu Bosah, SPN National Secretary; Hassan Taiwo Soweto, SPN National Youth Leader; and 11 others.
Journalists arrested are: Ifeoluwa Adediran of Premium Times, Abiodun Ayeoba of Sharara Reporters, Awoniyi Oluwatosin of Objectv Media and Daniel Tanimu of Galaxy TV, whose camera was seized. Some journalists’ phones were also seized.
Other SPN members arrested include Christopher Harry, Abisoye Kosoko, Tunde Yusuf, Akande Abiola, Ayo Ademiluyi, Ifeanyi Onwunalu, Davy Fidel, Dagga Tolar, Adetunji Gbenga, Usman Khadijat, Hassan Taiwo Soweto, Moshood Oshunfurewa and Taiwo Alao.