The global rights advocacy group, Amnesty International has said perpetrators must face justice after the Lagos State #EndSARS Panel confirmed the shooting of protesters at Lekki toll gate.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS and Related Abuses, set up to investigate the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos in October 2020 in its report said Nigerian soldiers and police operatives shot and killed peaceful protesters.
Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday said the group welcomes the “truthful” report confirming that the Nigerian army and police shot peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on 20 October 2020.
“The panel’s findings reveal the truth about what happened at Lekki toll gate and contradict the blatant denial by the Nigerian government that deadly force was used against peaceful #EndSARS protesters,” it said.
“A day after the crackdown, Amnesty International conducted its own on-the-ground investigation which confirmed that the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters in Lekki and Alausa – with evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports.
“A week later Amnesty International was able to release a timeline of the shootings, which confirmed that Nigerian army vehicles left a military base a short drive from the toll gate on the evening of the shootings and were present when the killings began shortly after.
“For the survivors and relatives of the dead, the judicial panel report findings are only the first step towards justice and restitution. President (Muhammadu) Buhari must act promptly to ensure that those found to be responsible for shooting and attacks on peaceful protesters are brought to justice in a fair trial.
“Nigerian authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies, including adequate compensation, restitution, and guarantee of non-repetition to victims and their families.”
“Authorities must also immediately and unconditionally release all #EndSARS protesters unlawfully detained since last year,” it added.