Imoh Moshood, police public relations officer (PPRO), says the collapse of Charly Boy at the protest demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari either resume office or resign was “over dramatisation”.
Moshood said this in an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels TV programme, on Thursday.
The police spokesman said when Charly Boy spotted the camera, he then fell down.
He said the police intervened in the protest because they “noticed a mix-up of miscreants and hoodlums”.
“You can see over dramatisation of the leader of the protesters who was sitting on a chair and because the camera is coming to his side decided to fall down,” Moshood said.
“The same man went to AIT that same day immediately after the incident and went and narrated what had happened. I’m not being persecuted but I’m allowed to say the side of the police.
“The first day of the protest it was peaceful, the second day when miscreants mixed in, police used its judgment to disperse them.”
Earlier, Deji Adeyanju, a leader of the protesters, said Charly Boy collapsed after the police used teargas on them.
He said the claim of the police that they were infiltrated by miscreants was false.
“He (Charly Boy) had collapsed when the teargas was shot at us, he is 66, the teargas was shot directly at us. While we were yet sitting again, they kept shooting the tear-gas. The smoke must have affected him,” Adeyanju said.
“Immediately we got to the venue of the protest on Tuesday we were confronted by the police and they told us that we had a successful sit-out which was Monday and that there was no need to proceed that this cannot be a daily thing, that it going to become an embarrassment to the government, and that we should postpone it by another week or two.
“That we can just come back another day and have a procession we told them that we had a programme and the police was adequately informed of all these and they can’t prevent us from carrying out our daily sit-out and as we sat down we started, we were just about 10 or there about.
“As we started water cannon vehicles starting coming round us and the next thing they started pouring water on us and they were about 20 dogs there and there were a lot of horses and we started running to where the police people were because we trying to prevent the dogs from biting us.
“Then they shot tear-gas, directly at us. It was at that point that one Silverbed journalist was injured on his left arm another protester, Theophilous also fainted, we had to rush him – some took him from the hospital.
“We went to the Unity Fountain and we were briefing journalists that were on ground while we were doing that, they shot tear-gas again at us.”
He added that they notified the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) of the protest.
“We are not interested in all these back and forth, we just want the president to resume or resign, that is not too much to ask, he has been gone for 94 days,” Adeyanju said.