Amnesty International has called on the Nigerian government to investigate the killing of peaceful #EndSars protesters. The international organisation reported on Wednesday that the Nigerian Security forces killed 12 protesters on Tuesday.

Other sources and eyewitnesses in Nigeria say the Amnesty international figure is low. The Punch, Nigeria’s leading newspaper, reports that 24 people were killed and labeling October 20, 2020, Black Tuesdays

The Nigerian Military has rejected the allegation as fake news. Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a statement on Wednesday also refuted the allegations that protesters were killed and noted that about 30 were injured. President Muhammadu Buhari has released a statement appealing for calm and promised that he was committed to seeking justice for victims of police brutality. He welcomed the establishment of Judicial Panels of Inquiry by some states.

President Muhammadu Buhari adresses Nigeria Youth

As of October 21, no fewer than 13 States in Nigeria have gone ahead to establish Judicial Panels of Inquiry as resolved by the National Economic Council to address the question of redress and justice for victims of police brutality across the country.

The President had earlier declared the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and approved full implementation of the report of the 2018-2019 Presidential Panel on Police Reform.

Amnesty International’s Report

  • At least 12 people killed at Alausa and Lekki Toll Gate Lagos 
  • Hundreds severely injured 
  • CCTV dismantled to cover murder 

 An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International has confirmed that the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters yesterday at two locations in Lagos. The killings took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting police brutality as part of the #EndSars movement. 

Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45 pm and 9:00 pm on Tuesday 20 October, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality. 

Witnesses at the Lekki protest grounds told Amnesty International that soldiers arrived at about 6:45 pm local time on Tuesday evening, and opened fire on #EndSars protesters without warning. Eyewitnesses at Alausa protest ground said they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Unit at about 8:00 pm, leaving at least two people dead and one critically injured.  

Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Soldiers clearly had one intention – to kill without consequences. 

Osai Ojigho, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

Amnesty International received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki toll gate, where #EndSARS protesters had been camped for two weeks, were removed by government officials and the electricity was cut – a clear attempt to hide evidence. As in previous cases documented by Amnesty International, some of those killed and injured at both grounds were allegedly taken away by the military. 

These shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions. There must be an immediate investigation and suspected perpetrators must be held accountable through fair trials. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for the victims and their families. 

Osai Ojigho.

Source: Amnesty International


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