Monday, May 10, 2021

Claims of ‘Lekki massacre’ not verified ― US Report


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
tiamin rice

The U.S Department of State has released a report claiming that the alleged killing of many protesters by Nigerian soldiers at the Lekki tollgate could not be verified.

On the night of October 20, 2020, Nigerian soldiers had allegedly opened fire on peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.

Releasing a report on Tuesday, tagged ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria,’, the U.S Department explained that accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at the end of the year.

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The report, obtained by The Nation on Wednesday, said: “On October 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

“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 organization was able to verify the claim. The government reported two deaths connected to the event.

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“One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma. A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds.

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“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.”

The report is contrary to claims by the CNN, which initially reported 38 protesters were killed during the incident, a claim the Federal Government vehemently rejected.

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