Popular activist and former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was shot at by the police in Abuja on Monday, 31 May, The Cable reports.
Sowore and a group of other Nigerians were staging a protest to demand an end to insecurity in the country when he was shot close to his hip by a gun-wielding policewoman drafted to the Unity Fountain to disperse the protesters.
The Protesters had converged on the fountain at 8:30 am, but the police allegedly denied them entry into the facility.
Sowore was said to have been speaking with a detachment of police officers stationed at the public facility when an officer shot at the crowd.
The development was confirmed by a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who wrote on Twitter: “the criminal officer is said to be an ACP. I watched Sowore being shot live on Facebook”.
“This is what Nigeria has been turned into under Buhari. They’ve declared war on the Civic Space.”
An individual identified as ‘myinvestigathor’ refuted claims of it being a gunshot on Instagram: ”It was a tear gas canister and not a gun please, and it was shot by a female police officer. They fenced the Unity Fountain with iron and cables to prevent protesters, the criminal officer is said to be CSP Atine, she fired a teargas canister directly at Sowore. This is a criminal offense under the Anti-Torture Act of 2017
Sowore has been having a brush with law enforcement agents since 2020 when he was arrested and detained for months by the Department of State Services (DSS).
He had called for a nationwide protest but was arrested on the eve of the demonstration in August 2020.