Police fired teargas at protesters in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, as the nationwide protests against police brutality continued on Monday. Demonstrators in the city were stopped by police as they marched through the streets blocking traffic.
Meanwhile, a 24-hour curfew was imposed on Edo state following a jail-break at the Benin Prison on Monday.
In Abuja, rmed thugs early Monday morning attacked activists who had been occupying the central bank’s headquarters in the city. Dozens of protesters were severely injured, according to human rights group, Amnesty International.
It was the latest in a series of “escalating violence and coordinated attacks” against #EndSars protesters, Amnesty added.
The protests started earlier this month in response to a video that circulated online showing a man being beaten, apparently by members of the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.
In response to the widespread demonstrations across the country, the Nigerian government announced that it would disband the SARS unit, but the daily protests have continued with participants demanding an end to all police brutality and corruption.
Since the protests began, at least 15 people have been killed and hundreds injured, according to Amnesty International, which accused the police of using excessive force against the demonstrators.
Amid the continuing protests against police brutality in the country, armed men broke into a prison in the city of Benin, capital of Edo state, freeing at least two hundred prisoners. This prompted the state government to declare a curfew.
Footage of the jailbreak showed some of the prisoners on the perimeter fence of the prison, while some other inmates were seen escaping through the roof.
Police also accused people “posing” as protesters of looting weapons, and torching police buildings.
The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said the curfew, which took effect from 4pm on Monday, was necessary “because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #ENDSARS protesters.”
“While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state,” Ogie said in a statement.
“Parents are advised to rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order.”
The state warned that anyone found outside in violation of the curfew would be dealt with according to the law.