DISTURBING! Soldiers, Policemen Killed 12 Lekki Protesters, Hid Their Corpses – Amnesty International Declares
At least 12 protesting Nigerian youths were killed at the Lekki tollgate and Alausa areas of Lagos state — and their corpses disappeared by security agents, Amnesty International has said.
The Global rights group explained that since the #EndSARS protests began, 56 people have been confirmed killed with 38 of them killed on Tuesday alone.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria: Killing of #EndSARS protesters by the military must be investigated,’ which was released on Wednesday.
The statement partly reads “An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International has confirmed that the Nigerian Army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters yesterday (Tuesday) at two locations in Lagos.
“The killings took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting against police brutality as part of the #EndSARS movement.”
Ex-President Obasanjo Speaks on The #LekkiMassacre of Peaceful
AI stated that evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6.45pm and 9pm on Tuesday, October 20, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality.
Country Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said the soldiers had only one intention, which was murder.
The statement further read, “Witnesses at the Lekki protest ground told Amnesty International that solders arrived at about 6:45pm local time on Tuesday and opened fire on #EndSARS protesters without warning.
“Eyewitnesses at the Alausa protest ground said they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen from the Rapid Response Squad Unit at about 8pm, 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.”
AI said it received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki tollgate, 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.
It said 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,” AI said.
It said at least 56 people had died across the country since the protest began, with about 38 killed on Tuesday alone.
It said victims include protesters and thugs who were allegedly hired by the authorities to confront the protesters.
“In many cases, the security forces had used excessive force in an attempt to control or stop the protests,” AI said.
Wikipedia lists killing of protesters among Nigerian Army’s engagements
Meanwhile, following the incident at the Lekki Tollgate, Wikipedia has listed “killing of peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos” among engagements by the Nigerian Army.
A visit to the Wikipedia page of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday confirmed this development.
There were nine other engagements attributed to the Nigerian Army, namely Boko Haram insurgency, invasion of The Gambia, Northern Mali war, and Nigeria-Cameroon border conflict.
Others are Nigerian Civil War, Congo Crisis, First Liberian Civil War, among others.
About two weeks into the #EndSARS protests, the Nigerian Army reportedly deployed soldiers to the Lekki Tollgate, an epicentre of the protests, on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses said soldiers fired live ammunition at unarmed protesters around 7pm after lights at the tollgate were switched off and CCTV cameras removed by some persons.
The Nigerian Army has denied involvement in the killings, despite several pieces of video evidence.
But the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a live broadcast on Wednesday morning, said the army deployed troops to the protest ground – after announcing a curfew that was to start at 9pm.
Sanwo-Olu regretted the killings but noted that as a governor, the control of military forces was not under his purview.
However, he said he was currently engaging the leadership of the Nigerian Army on the development.
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