No evidence of massacre at Lekki Tollgate - U.S. - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

No evidence of massacre at Lekki Tollgate - U.S.

No evidence of massacre at Lekki Tollgate - U.S.




The United States (U.S.) Department of States says there is no verifiable evidence on the reported killings of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, last year.

It stated this in a report entitled: ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria.’

But, British High Commissioner Catriona Laing said Nigeria’s worsening security situation is a source of concern to the United Kingdom.

He said UK was, however, prepared to assist Nigeria in the war against insecurity.

There had been reports and claims of massacre at the toll gate by the military during the protests by youths against the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and bad governance.

A special report by Cable News Network (CNN) had also said soldiers shot at protesters, killing many.

The US, in its report, stated that accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available.

The report reads in part: “Although the protests were allowed to proceed unimpeded in most places, civil society observers reported the arrest of some peaceful protesters in Lagos, Osun, and Kano states on charges of “conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace.”

All those arrested were released within days of their arrest.

 



“In October, #EndSARS protests were staged in states across the country to demand an end to police brutality.

Demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some protests turned violent after criminal elements infiltrated the protests and security forces fired at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20.

“According to #EndSARS Legal Aid, by year’s end, a network of volunteer lawyers had secured the release of 337 protesters, but it was unable to confirm how many remained in detention.”

The US department went on with what it considers a detailed analysis of what transpired on October 20 by saying: “Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end.

“Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organisation was able to verify the claim.

The government reported two deaths connected to the event. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma.

A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds.

 “The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate.

At year’s end, the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution continued to hear testimony and investigate the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate.”

 



On human rights abuses generally, the U.S. report asserted that there were reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary, unlawful, or extra-judicial killings.
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