Amnesty International, a human rights advocacy group has dared the Nigerian Government as it has made good it’s promise to release a timeline on the events leading to the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos, on the 20th of October, 2020.
Amnesty International had said it has evidence that the Army fired at protesters. It however said that the “Nigerian authorities’ must end their attempts to cover up the Lekki Toll Gate massacre”.
Osai Ojigho, the Country Director of Amnesty International said “At 6.29pm local time in Lagos on 20th October, 2020, two military vehicles were filmed leaving Bonny Camp on videos shared on social media. Later footage shows four vehicles with flashing lights in a convoy, and they appear to be vehicles used by the Nigerian military and police.”
He further revealed that “The same vehicles head east along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue – which changes its name to the Lekki-Epe Expressway – in the direction of the Lekki Toll Gate. On this route, the vehicles pass several international embassies and consulates, including the Japanese Embassy and the Australian High Commission.”
“What happened at Lekki Toll Gate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities’ pattern of a cover-up whenever their defence and security forces commit unlawful killings.”
In addition, Ojigho said “the agency is also in possession of evidence of how the military prevented ambulances from rescuing gunshot victims”.
He further said, that “photographs and footage capture the vehicles arriving at the toll gate, before the peaceful protest is disrupted by men in military uniform and gunfire is heard. As night time descended, protesters continued to film and share videos of the shootings. Later in the evening, videos of the victims were also shared on social media”.
Amnesty International further stated that “while we continue to investigate the killings, we wish to remind the authorities that under international law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against an imminent threat of death or serious injury,”
The Nigerian Army in a statement released, had denied that it shot at the protesters, stating that, it was invited to enforce a state curfew by the Lagos State Government.
In another statement, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos had condemned the shooting, saying he never ordered soldiers to shoot at the protesters. He has however, constitued a judical panel to investigate the incident surrounding the events at the Lekki toll gate and other breaches by security agencies.