#EndSARS: No Accurate Information On Fatalities Of Lekki Shooting – US Report
The US Department of State says there is no accurate information on the fatalities of the shooting that took place in Lekki, Lagos state, during the #EndSARS protest.
Hours before a curfew was scheduled to begin on October 20, soldiers had stormed the Lekki tollgate — where protesters had gathered — and started shooting.
The Lekki incident had elicited widespread condemnation within and outside Nigeria, with the #LekkiMassacre trending on social media.
Although the army says nobody was fatally injured as blank bullets were shot into the air, Amnesty International insisted that people died of gunshot injuries.
But according to a 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by the US on Tuesday, the casualty figure was said to be unverified by other organisations.
“The national police, army, and other security services sometimes used force to disperse protesters and apprehend criminals and suspects. Police forces engaging in crowd-control operations generally attempted to disperse crowds using nonlethal tactics, such as firing tear gas, before escalating their use of force,” the report read.
“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. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma. A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds.
“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.”
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, had called on Amnesty International to show proof of the people reportedly killed during the shooting at Lekki tollgate.