Human Rights Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana has said a group he oversees has identified the barracks where officers of the military emanated from and shot protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in the country’s commercial capital Lagos.
Falana said from the investigation conducted so far, the group, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB) is now gathering facts that shots were actually fired at the tollgate and people have died from those shots.
“We have already identified the barracks where the soldiers left for Lekki, we have already identified the barracks,” Falana said Monday when he appeared on ARISE News.
He added that “the President was likely to have been told, soldiers were ordered so I want to believe that’s why it was not addressed and they said it was a rumour but I think the facts are emerging now, that indeed soldiers went to Lekki, indeed they fired at protesters and indeed some of the protesters at least two have been officially acknowledged to have died from gunshot wounds.”
ASCAB had recently set up an independent National Citizens Panel of Inquiry to investigate the October 20 shooting of protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza.
“ASCAB shall establish an Independent National Citizen’s Panel of Inquiry under a number of conditions Composition of the Citizen’s Panel of Inquiry shall comprise representatives of credible and identified organisations of the youth that took part in the #Endsars protest movement, including the Feminist Coalition, among others; representatives of credible and tested civil society organisations.
Falana had accused the security agencies of engaging the services of sponsored thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Lagos and Abuja for about 12 days.
He said, “It is such state sponsored thuggery that boomeranged as boys and girls who have been used and dumped by politicians turned the peaceful protests to a conflagration that engulfed the nation.
Falana also accused the Nigerian government of having no respect for the rule of law and citizens rights to protest. He said constant denials from the federal government and its agencies clearly does show Nigeria as a serious country.
“I have never seen it anywhere in the world where in the federal capital of a country where you have all the embassies, you have unmarked vehicles taking thugs round and it was being filmed and the thugs were being ferried by officials of the government and we are being told it’s not the State Security Service and in Lagos it was not the Nigerian army that shot. Such denials do not portray Nigeria as a serious country, because it is the duty of the government anywhere in the world to trace those criminals and bring them to book,’ Falana said.
He stated further that the “Nugerian government has no respect for the rule of law and have ensured they stave off all forms of protests in the country.
“Every designated venue for protest in the country have been fenced by government to prevent demonstrations. In Lagos, the Gani Fawehinmin square in Lagos has been fenced while the Unity fountain in Abuja has also been fenced, and the same government has said citizens have the right to protest.”
By Abel Ejikeme