A media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to reports that Friday’s protests against the notorious Sars police unit have been violently put down.
“Police that should be handing out face masks and bottled water to peaceful protesters… The response to police brutality is not further police brutality,” Tolu Ogunlesi said in a tweet.
Olu Onemola, a community organiser who previously worked as an aide in Nigeria’s senate, says he and his cousin were arrested by police on their way to joining the protest in the capital, Abuja.
The pair were “pushed into the back of a pickup” before later giving a statement and being released, he adds.
Others say tear gas and gunfire have been used to force peaceful protesters away – though the footage and photos posted on social media cannot be independently verified by the BBC:
— /Raei/ 🕊🦍 (@baaleofabuja) October 9, 2020