The Lagos State Police Command has denied an online report that security agents sealed off the venue of Wole Soyinka’s RevolutionNow press conference.
An online media had alleged that a combined team of operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), police, and the army stormed the Lagos centre, venue of the conference and allegedly sealed off the place and arrested some guests.
The RevolutionNow conference was to be attended by Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and labour unions.
Reacting to the online news, not Daily Sun, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations of Lagos State Command, Mohammed Ali, dismissed the news with the wave of the hand, saying that it might have been spread by mischief-makers.
Ali said that the conference actually went on as planned, adding that policemen were only posted to the venue to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.
He said that nobody was arrested or molested throughout the conference.
He said: “Wole Soyinka is a statesman, a respected personality. Femi Falana is a respected lawyer. How could we have denied them access to the venue of the conference or arrest their guests? Security agents were their to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the conference. We were there to maintain law and order and to monitor the situation. We did not arrest anyone as the conference went on smoothly.
“I urge members of the public to dismiss the news. It is being peddled by mischief makers who might want to cause confusion. I urge members of the public to go about their lawful duties without any fear.
“The event went on as planned; the organisers addressed the press. We only posted our men to ensure that hoodlums will not hijack the entire process to loot and attack innocent persons,” he added.
Expected at the event were notable Nigerians such as Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and labour unions.
News of the alleged sealing off of the Lagos centre, venue of a #RevolutionNow event by Nigerian Security agencies went viral on the social media.
The online report also alleged that some people who attended the event were also arrested.
However, Joshua Nwaka, who said he was at the venue of the conference said: “Yes,the presence of the police, army and DSS, intimidated many who would have attended the conference. Many people turned back. I for one stayed back to monitor the activities, but I can tell you authoritatively that many people who would have attended the conference did not attend.”