Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Army of killing at least 12 protesters and injuring several others at two locations in Lagos.
The killings according to the rights group took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting against police brutality as part of the #EndSars movement.
Although the military had debunked the reports, Amnesty International said that evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45 pm and 9:00 pm on Tuesday 20 October, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality.
Witnesses at the Lekki protest grounds told the rights group that soldiers arrived at about 6:45 pm local time on Tuesday evening, and opened fire on #EndSars protesters without warning.
Eyewitnesses at Alausa protest ground said they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Unit at about 8:00 pm, leaving at least two people dead and one critically injured.
Video: Security operatives open fire at Lekki protesters
“Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly. Soldiers clearly had one intention – to kill without consequences”.
Amnesty International received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki toll gate, where #EndSARS protesters had been camped for two weeks, were removed by government officials and the electricity was cut – a clear attempt to hide evidence. As in previous cases documented by Amnesty International, some of those killed and injured at both grounds were allegedly taken away by the military.
“These shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions. There must be an immediate investigation and suspected perpetrators must be held accountable through fair trials. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for the victims and their families”.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday visited the injured protesters at the hospital.
In a series of tweets, the governor said at least 28 people were injured on Tuesday when soldiers shot at #EndSARS protesters in the Lekki area of the state.
Although he was silent on the number of fatalities, he visited the victims who sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds as a result of the action of the soldiers.
Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that the injured victims were receiving medical treatment across three hospitals in the state.
According to him, 10 victims are being treated at the General Hospital, 11 at Reddington, and four hospitalised at Vedic medical facility.
The governor confirmed that the victims sustained mild to moderate levels of injuries, but two were receiving intensive medical care.
He added that three patients have so far been discharged from the hospital, while 25 others were on admission at the time of this report.
On why it took him long to react to the shooting, Governor Sanwo-Olu said he had to prioritise the welfare of the victims of the unfortunate incident.
“This is the toughest night of our lives as forces beyond our direct control have moved to make dark notes in our history, but we will face it and come out stronger,” he said.