ARTICLE 19, a nongovernmental organisation defending the freedom of expression and information in West Africa, says it has reviewed many footages of the Nigerian soldiers allegedly shooting at the protesters at Lekki Tollgate killing at least 12 and injuring hundreds of others.
The Regional Director of ARTICLE 19, Fatou Jagne Senghore, said the nonprofit condemned the unlawful shooting of the unarmed protesters on October 20 and called on the Nigerian Government to stop using force on unarmed protesters.
“ARTICLE 19 strongly condemns the unlawful killings of peaceful protesters by Nigerian soldiers.
“As we are waiting to hear from the authorities why this happened, and exactly how many people were killed and wounded, I am urging the Nigerian Government to end the use of force against peaceful protesters, prosecute those suspected to be responsible for the killings immediately and to take more steps in fundamentally reforming the security forces.
“Security forces can only use firearms when strictly necessary to protect life. That was absolutely not the case at Lekki Tollgate as the protesters had gathered peacefully and were no threat at all.
“It is crucial that President Buhari now clarifies to the security forces that they can no longer get away with murder and that they will have to face the consequences of their acts,” said Fatou Jagne Senghore.
ARTICLE 19 further commended the effort of the Lagos State Government to investigate the alleged incident after it was initially denied there was any case of death.
“ARTICLE 19 welcomes the decision of the Lagos State Government to order an investigation into the Lekki Tollgate shooting and urges the authorities to make public the findings,” the nonprofit stated.
The alleged massacre was condemned by the international community who encouraged the Nigerian Government to conduct proper investigation to ensure perpetrators of acts of violence are held to account.
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has confirmed that 69 Nigerians, mainly civilians, lost their lives in the protest against police brutality in Nigeria.
The protest started on October 7, 2020, and turned violent after suspected hoodlums hijacked the protests and started looting public properties.
Lagos States and some parts of Nigeria witnessed violence as some buildings were torched, shopping centres looted and prisons attacked since the incidence of the alleged shooting.