Nigerian army shot and killed at least 11 unarmed peaceful protesters and injured dozens of others during a demonstration last year, in an incident that can be labeled as a massacre, a government panel has found.
Four others were missing and now “supposed” dead,” according to the panel’s report on October 20, 2020, shooting at a toll gate in Lekki, a chic suburb of lagos, in southwest of Nigeria.
The “Abominable Mutilation and” killing of unarmed, helpless and non-resisting protesters, seated on the floor and wave met their Nigerian flags, while holding the . to sing national anthem can be equated with a ‘bloodbath’ in context,” said the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on Refund for Victims of SARS-related abuses and other matters.
The protest at the Lekki toll gate was one of many demonstrations in the whole country at the time against police brutality. The protestors’ anger was mainly trained on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notoriously corrupt police unit.
The panel report, which was submitted to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, was leaked to the news media on Monday and a copy was obtained by The New York Times. It mentioned 48 people as victims of shootings.
The job of the panel, led by Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge, had to end the controversy over the question of What happened on the night of Oct 20 qualified like a “bloodbath”.
The military had maintained that it had fired blanks to disperse protesters. But the judicial panel reported evidence that soldiers “actually shot blank and live bullets directly and emphatically in the middle of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, with the willful intent to attack, maim and kill.” It also noted that the soldiers turned around back ambulances die have arrived at help injured protesters.
The panel found the military’s response, saying that “the” mayhem and violence registered in other components of Lagos State did not happen at the Lekki toll gate so there was no need for any fear on the part of the government of the security services to try die to expel peaceful assembly, with soldiers carry deadly weapons.”
When the panel convened last year, a representative of the Nigerian Army, Brig. Gene. AI Taiwo, insisted that the troops at the toll gate “strictly followed” the armies rules of involvement for internal security. He said the military has used nonviolent means to bring the situation under control.
But the panel concluded that since the deployment of the army was not justified, the question of of troops adhered to something? rule of involvement was irrelevant. It also noted that General Taiwo’s evidence was “hearsay” as he was not present at the time of the incident. The general claimed that he events “on the Internet.”
After a few gigs for the panel, the army stopped met to collaborate with his research.
Although the Nigerian government and various pro-government activists had insisted there had been no massacre, some social media users including Nigerian songwriter and musician, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, who continues DJ Switch, live-streamed the demonstration. People, scared and met scars, in the video could be heard shouting “they shoot” as they ran in different directions looking for cover.
On the first anniversary of the protest, last month, the Nigerian minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, demanded an apology of the trio of Amnesty International, CNN and DJ Switch”for deceive the world.”
“The military did not shoot protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, and there was no massacre at the toll booth,” Mr Mohammed told reporters during a news conference in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. “The only recorded massacre was… in the social media.”
However, the panel’s report stated that several protesters… hit by bullets when the army started firing and when the police returned, hours later, to spread what was left of the meeting.
“Evidence from the forensic experts (Sentinel Forensics Ltd) die are enabled by the panel confirmed multiple muzzle flashes are consistent with the discharge of ammunition were observed,” the report said.
“of the whole” of the evidence adduced, it can safely be concluded that there was use and resignation of live ammunition at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 which resulted in in wounded and killed.”
In the aftermath of the protest, DJ Switch was attacked by government followers, who accused her of spreading lies over the protest.
On Monday evening, after the panel’s report was leaked, she wrote on Twitter: “So many lives shattered, tried to destroy mine. Nothing but for what you desperately tried to hide to be made public… by you! The truth doesn’t need any defense! #EndSARS”
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