Despite barefaced attempts by officials of Nigerian Government to deny unprovoked shooting and killings at the Lekki Tollgate Lagos, Amnesty International has said at least 12 people have been confirmed killed, with several others sustaining varying degrees of injuries.
Both the Lagos State Government and Nigerian Army at separate statements denied that protesters died and also denied that neither the Army nor Police were involved in the shooting at Lekki and Alausa.
A statement signed by Amnesty International Country Director, Osai Ojigho said the dead and wounded were victims of Nigerian Army and Police killings, at Lekki and Alausa areas of Lagos. The statement
It read, “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 6:45pm and 9:00pm on Tuesday 20 October 2020, 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 Solders 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.
“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.
“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.”
Amnesty International which has been monitoring developments across Nigeria since the #EndSars protest began on 8 October 2020, note that at least 56 people have died across the country, with about 38 killed on Tuesday alone. Victims include protesters and thugs allegedly hired by the authorities to confront the protesters.
In a related development, the Controller of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Lagos Command, Sam Iyakoregha has cleared the air on those involved in the attempt to break and set prisoners at the Ikoyi Prison, free, saying the attempt was by inmates and not ENDSARS protesters.
The Controller said his officers and men in collaboration with operatives of other security agencies foiled the attempted jail break by some inmates, as the Lagos protest raged. Some online news mediums have attributed the setting of the correctional facility to protesters, believed to have been largely infiltrated by hoodlums.
The State Command Public Relations Officer, Supt. Rotimi Oladookun, in a statement explained that the inmates wanted to take advantage of the ongoing protest and enforced curfew in the state to stage a jailbreak, by setting fire to some sections of the building. He noted that the attempt was however foiled as the inmates were overpowered by the command personnel and it’s backup.
According to Oladookun, “There was no breach of the Custodial Centre security perimeter as combined deployment of military and other security agency ensured the safety of the inmates and the Custodial Centre. Further investigations and mop up operations are currently ongoing.”
The Controller of Corrections, Sam Iyakoregha said that the security integrity ofIikoyi Custodial Centre and all other Centers in the state are intact and inviolable.