Amnesty International Accuses FG of Cover-up in Lekki Shooting

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Amnesty International has accused the federal government of failing to bring to justice security forces suspected to be responsible for the crackdown on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa in Lagos in October 2020.

The international human rights body said the government was trying to cover up the attack.

In a statement issued yesterday marking the 100 days of the attacks, the organisation said since the assault by security forces, the federal government has continued to target supporters of the protests, adding that some have had their bank accounts frozen.

“The bloody events of October 20, 2020, when Nigerian security forces killed at least 12 people during the violent dispersal of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki and Alausa, have cast a shadow over Nigerian society that lingers to this day.

“Instead of bringing suspected perpetrators to justice and prioritising genuine police reforms, Nigerian authorities have been abusing their powers by subjecting those who supported the protests to intimidation, harassment and smear campaigns,” said Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said Osai Ojigho.

She added that reports from across Nigeria indicate that the police violence is still widespread despite government promises of change.

“Amnesty International is concerned that the Nigerian authorities will continue their current ban on protests and reminds the government of its obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and international human rights treaties to – which the country is a state party – to allow those who gather peacefully to express their views without fear of arrest or intimidation.,” she stated.

Amnesty International argued that international human rights law requires the Nigerian authorities to carry out prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and effective investigations into violations of human rights of the protesters, including the right to life, such as those committed at Lekki and Alausa, as well as in other parts of the country, and to identify and bring suspected perpetrators to justice in fair trials.

It also called on the government to suspend accused officials, pending investigations, and to ensure that victims access justice and effective remedies.

“Those suspected to be responsible for the killings should be brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards,” Ojigho added.