At least 12 people were killed and hundreds injured in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos when security forces violently and deadly crackdown on protesters in Alausa and Lekki areas of the state.
Amnesty International in a statement on Wednesday, October 21, said the Nigerian Army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters on Tuesday, October 20, in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting police brutality as part of the #EndSars movement.
Amnesty stated that evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirmed that between 6:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. 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.
Witnesses at the Lekki protest grounds told Amnesty International that soldiers arrived at about 6:45 p.m. 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 Unit at about 8:00 p.m., leaving at least two persons 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,” said Osai Ojigho, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
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,” Ojigho said.
The human rights organisations also reported that at least 56 people had died across the country since the protest began, with about 38 killed on Tuesday alone.
” 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,” it said.
Young Nigerians over the past few weeks have been protesting and demanding an end to police brutality, impunity and excessive use of force.
Despite banning of the special anti-robbery squad responsible for igniting the protest, #endsars protesters are seeking for more action and commitment from the government.