OBINNA EZUGWU

Global human rights body, Amnesty International has maintained that Nigerian soldiers and police killed at least 12 #EndSARS protesters in Lekki and Alausa areas of Lagos on Tuesday night.

While the army had denied shooting at protesters at Lekki tollgate on the night, despite video evidence to the contrary, Amnesty has said it has gathered incontrovertible evidence that soldiers and the police shot and killed 12 protesters and injured many more.

“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. Killings took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting police brutality,” Amnesty Nigeria said via its Twitter handle, @AmnestyNigeria

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

“Witnesses at the Lekki protest grounds told Amnesty international that soldiers arrived at about 6:45pm 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.”

Amnesty said opening fire on protesters is gross violation of their rights and dignity, and called for the prosecution of those who carried out the attack.

“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,” the body said.

“Amnesty International received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki toll gate, where #EndSARS protesters had 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.”