The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says Amnesty International, AI, is becoming an irritant with disinformation and double standard and will soon lose its respect and credibility.
The government said this position in response to the AI allegation of cover-up in the handling of the purported crackdown and killings of EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos in October 2020.
In a release to mark 100 days of the Lekki Toll Gate incident, AI, a global movement on a campaign to end abuses of human rights, alleged Nigerian authorities were covering up in bringing the perpetrators of the purported killings to book.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja, the minister accused AI of disinformation and double standard.
Specifically, the minister said AI had no proof to justify its claim that 12 people were killed by the military at the incident.
“If Amnesty International has any proof, it should come out with it or shut up.
“After a lot of dillydallying, Amnesty International said 12 people were shot at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“They should take advantage of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry set up by Lagos state to tell the names and addresses of the 12 people they claim were shot at the toll gate,’’ he said.
The minister said AI had no respect for the Nigerian judiciary by coming out with the report while the judicial panel of inquiry was still sitting on the case
Mohammed also accused the global body of double standard in the handling of cases involving Nigeria and some other developing countries compared to some developed world.
He said the AI did not say one word when the American government arrested and are prosecuting those who invaded Capitol Hill in Washington aftermath of the U.S. Presidential elections.
“American government has vowed that they will search, arrest and prosecute anybody involved in the attack on Capitol Hill
“When Nigeria wanted to arrest and prosecute those hoodlums responsible for the killings of 37 Policemen, six Soldiers during the EndSARS protest, Amnesty International will find fault.
“At the Lekki toll gate incident in Lagos, they described the hoodlums as peaceful protesters, while the people who invaded capitol hill in the US were called insurrectionists.
“When the U.S. Government denied the investigators from the International Criminal Court visa to enter the U.S., we did not hear a word from Amnesty International.
“They will soon lose their respect and credibility if they continue to operate this double standard,’’ he said.