The Shiite members were protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky on Monday at Maitama, when armed policemen swooped on them, firing tear gas canisters at them.
The development paralysed traffic and commercial activities around the area as everyone avoided the area to avoid getting caught up in the fracas.
Many of the Shiite members were seen running away while some of them defiantly stood their ground as a police truck fired water cannons at them.
The police had last Friday cordoned off the Unity Fountain where the Shiite members usually hold their rallies.
They also arrested an activist and convener, Concerned Citizens, Deji Adeyanju, who had been championing the protests for over three weeks.
He was released after about four hours.