Lekki shootings: 100 days after, Amnesty accuses govt of cover-ups, intimidation

2021-01-29
THE VANGUARD Newspaper

Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian government of covering up those responsible for the shootings of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa in Lagos State in October 2020.

The organisation made the accusation in a press statement issued 100 days after the incident that resulted in the deaths of some protesters.

AI’s Director in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, in the statement, also demanded justice for victims of the shootings.

Though the government had denied mass killings during the incidents, Amnesty insisted that 12 persons were killed.

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Lekki shootings: 100 days after, Amnesty accuses govt of cover-ups, intimidation
Published January 28, 2021
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FILE: EndSARS protesters on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos

Sodiq Oyeleke

Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian government of covering up those responsible for the shootings of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa in Lagos State in October 2020.

The organisation made the accusation in a press statement issued 100 days after the incident that resulted in the deaths of some protesters.

AI’s Director in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, in the statement, also demanded justice for victims of the shootings.

Though the government had denied mass killings during the incidents, Amnesty insisted that 12 persons were killed.

The PUNCH reports that soldiers had opened fire on the #EndSARS protesters who converged on Lekki tollgate to demand an end to police brutality and bad governance.

After several denials, the Nigerian Army later confirmed that soldiers were deployed to the scene as requested by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

A representative of the army, Ahmed Taiwo, also told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution investigating cases of police brutality in the state that soldiers attacked the protesters with blank bullets and live (bullets).

Part of the statement read, “Nigerian authorities have failed to bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the brutal crackdown by security forces on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa in Lagos in October 2020 and have brazenly attempted to cover up the violence, said Amnesty International Nigeria today, 100 days on from the attack.

“Since the assault by security forces, which killed at least 12 people, Nigerian authorities have targeted supporters of the protests against police brutality by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Some of the movement’s supporters have had their bank accounts frozen.

“The bloody events of 20 October 2020, when Nigerian security forces killed at least 12 people during the violent dispersal of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki and Alausa, have cast a shadow over Nigerian society that lingers to this day.

“Instead of bringing suspected perpetrators to justice and prioritizing genuine police reforms, Nigerian authorities have been abusing their powers by subjecting those who supported the protests to intimidation, harassment, and smear campaigns.

“Those suspected to be responsible for the killings should be brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards.”

 

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