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"Free Lagos" Press Briefing: Police Storm Venue, Fire Shots

There was tension at the premises of Lagos Airport Hotel in Ikeja, venue of a “Free Lagos” press conference on Thursday. The press conference is being organised by a group known as ‘Orange Movement for a Free Lagos State’ with the theme, “Setting Lagos free from Bourdillon Bondage, #OtogeLagos”.

The conveners of the group comprise of former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, Spokesperson of Afenifere Group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin and Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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While some participants had already seated inside the Oranmiyan Hall where the event was to hold, scores of other participants who stormed the Airport Hotel gate were stopped by a detachment of armed policemen mobilised to the scene.

The policemen did not allow anybody to come inside the hall. In the ensuing drama, policemen fired several shots to disperse the crowd with people running helter-skelter within the premises.

It was not clear while policemen in about 10 vehicles stormed the venue, but sources said the action was to prevent the press conference from holding.

But the state’s police spokesman, Chike Oti, said the command got an intelligence report that some hoodlums were trying to hijack the press briefing. He said the police cannot stop anybody from using the Airport Hotel facilities being a business environment, adding that the command is also obliged to protect lives and properties of the citizens.

As at the time of filing this report, the participants have vacated the hall and are currently hanging around the premises as the drama continues.

One of the conveners, Comrade Mark Adebayo said they would sue the police for the siege.

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