Amnesty International Releases Evidence Linking Military to Lekki Shootings

The global rights group, Amnesty International, has collated and released a timeline of the killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate, Lagos on October 20.

The AI said its crisis response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirmed the security forces were present at the Lekki toll gate when the shootings occurred.

The evidence was published on the group’s website on Wednesday.

The Nigerian Bar Association and an activist, Raphael Adebayo, in their separate reactions to Amnesty’s statement, reiterated their calls for the probe of the Lekki shootings.

The NBA further advised government to stop denying the incident and admit its error.

Youths calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police had on October 8 begun protests in major cities across the country.

On October 20, the protests turned violent when soldiers shot protesters at Lekki.

Eyewitnesses said that eight dead bodies of protesters were taken away by the soldiers of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army.

The incident which was also live-streamed by a popular disc jockey showed the soldiers firing at the activists.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his first reaction to the shootings blamed the incident on forces beyond his control.

Later in an interview with Arise Television, the governor denied inviting soldiers to quell the protests.

But the acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Maj. Osoba Olaniyi, in a statement on Tuesday, explained that the troops were invited by the Lagos State Government to enforce the curfew it imposed on the state.

Efforts to get the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Gboyega Akosile, to react to the military’s latest claim did not succeed as he did not take his calls nor respond to a WhatsApp message from The PUNCH, despite viewing the text.

However, a top member of the Sanwo-Olu cabinet said the governor would not reply to the military statement.

“No, there is no need for a response. We are not reacting to it,” the official, who did not want to be quoted, said.

But the AI in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Authorities must stop attempts to cover up Lekki toll gate massacre – new investigative timeline,’ provided photographs and footage confirming that the military vehicles conveying the troops left their base, Bonny Camp at 6:29 pm for the tollgate.

It explained that the military vehicles were filmed leaving Bonny Camp on videos shared on social media.

The Punch

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