Police in denial as aide insisted ACP shoot Sowore with teargas canister in Abuja

Police in denial as aide insisted ACP shoot Sowore with teargas canister in Abuja

Monday, May 31, 2021 2:31 pm

• Omoyele Sowore: Shot with teargas canister

By Richard Elesho/Abuja

The founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore is in hospital, taking treatment after he was hit by the canister of a teargas shot by a police officer at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.

Contrary to earlier viral information that he was shot with a gun, it was learnt that Sowore, an activist, publisher of SaharaReporters and presidential candidate of African Action Congress in the 2019 general election was hit by a teargas canister fired by the police while he and others were trying to gain entrance into the Unity Fountain on Monday morning.

According to an aide, the publisher was speaking with a detachment of police officers stationed at the Fountain Unity Fountain when he was shot by a female police officer.

In an interview with Premium Times, the Publicity Secretary of African Action Congress (AAC), Olorunfemi Adeyeye, identified the police officer who shoot the activist as ACP Atine.

He said Sowore and other activists were at the Unity Fountain to protest against the worsening security situation in Nigeria, but they discovered that the gate was locked.

“While we got there, we were trying to engage with the police officers (most senior of them) who then said it’s an order from the commissioner of police that there should not be demonstrations. We tried to contest that.

In fact, we even called the CP and he said he was not aware of such order. We told them that it is unlawful and that you cannot dictate that people should not protest. Not at this particular time when insecurity, which is the major problem, is ravaging the country.

“People were converging and more persons were joining. We’ve not even started anything when this police officer, ACP Atine, mobilised police officers to the place and the first was a shot. It was directed to him — At a very close range.”

However, in its reaction, the Police said Sowore was not shot as being speculated in some sections social media.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the FCT, ASP Mariam Yusuf in a statement said there is no record of such incident as at the time of this report,” she said.
Yusuf said police operatives had professionally restored calm at the Unity Fountain following attempts by a group of protesters to incite public disturbance.
She said the protesters were resisted by police operatives to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order.
She enjoined FCT residents to remain calm and law abiding and pledged the commitment of the command to protect lives and property within the FCT

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