Amnesty International says not less than 12 protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate plaza and at the Alausa areas of Lagos State on Tuesday.
AI, in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Nigeria: Killing of #EndSARS protesters by the military must be investigated’ also said security agents hid some of the corpses of the killed protesters.
The statement, signed by Country Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said the soldiers planned to murder the protesters.
According to the group, since the #EndSARS protests began, 56 people had been killed while 38 of them were killed on Tuesday alone.
According to AI, “An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International has confirmed that the Nigerian Army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters yesterday (Tuesday) at two locations in Lagos.
“The killings took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting against police brutality as part of the #EndSARS movement.”
The group added that evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6.45 pm and 9:00 pm on Tuesday, 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 ground told Amnesty International that solders arrived at about 6:45pm local time on Tuesday and opened fire on #EndSARS protesters without warning.
“Eyewitnesses at the Alausa protest ground said they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen from the Rapid Response Squad Unit at about 8pm, leaving at least two people dead and one critically injured.
“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,” the statement added.
AI said it received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki tollgate, where#EndSARSprotesters had been camped for two weeks, were removed by government officials and the electricity was cut in a bid to hide evidence.
According to the statement, in previous cases documented by Amnesty International, some of those killed and injured were 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.
“In many cases, the security forces had used excessive force in an attempt to control or stop the protests,” AI said.
The group equally accused the authorities of hiring thugs to attack protesters.