Amnesty alleges security forces killed 12 at Lekki, Alausa

Global rights group, Amnesty International, says at least 12 protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate plaza and at the Alausa areas of Lagos State, adding that like in previous killings, security agents hid some of the corpses of the protesters.

It said since the #EndSARS protests began, 56 people had been killed while 38 of them were killed on Tuesday alone.

Amnesty said this in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Nigeria: Killing of #EndSARS protesters by the military must be investigated’.

The statement read in part, “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 police brutality as part of the #EndSars movement.”

Amnesty 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 grounds told Amnesty international that soldiers arrived at about 6:45pm local time on Tuesday evening, and opened fire on #EndSARS protesters without warning.

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“Eyewitnesses at 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.”

Amnesty said it 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.

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,” said Amnesty.

Amnesty, which has been monitoring developments across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protest began on 8 October 2020, said at least 56 people have 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,” Amnesty said.

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