As at 20 October 2020, at around 6:50 p.m., memebers from the Nigerian Armed force reportedly started shooting at unarmed End SARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Amnesty International stated that at least 12 protesters were killed during the shooting.
What Led To EndSars Protest?
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police is an infamous division with a lengthy history of mistreating Nigerian civilians.
According to allegations, SARS agents create profiles on young Nigerians, primarily men, based on their clothing choices, tattoos, and hairstyles.
They were also well-known for setting up unauthorized roadblocks, carrying out unauthorized checks and searches, detaining people without cause or due process, raping women, and extorting young Nigerian men for using laptops and iPhones and driving expensive cars.
Nigerians have shared both personal accounts and video proof of SARS officers abusing Nigerian residents through kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, illegal arrests, humiliation, unlawful imprisonment, and extrajudicial killings. Young Nigerian men made up a sizable portion of the SARS abuse victims.
Nigerian youths made the decision to take to the streets in a protest to stop the cruelty of SARS.
Unarmed demonstrators were fired at by the Nigerian Armed Forces on the evening of October 20, 2020, at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria.
Amnesty International claims that the CCTV cameras at the toll gate were taken down just before the shooting.
Later, the Lagos State Government clarified that these devices—which had originally been reported on social media as CCTV cameras—were actually laser cameras.
Additionally, the Loatsad Media-owned and -maintained billboards that serve as advertisements were switched off, as were the lights that feed the toll gate with electricity.
DJ Switch, a well-known Nigerian DJ, live-streamed the incident on Instagram during and after the shooting. In the video, they are seen putting a Nigerian flag around the leg of a man who has been shot in an effort to remove a bullet.
A local newspaper, People’s Gazette, said that the army had attempted to handover nine bodies to the police to assist them in interring them in the hours following the shooting. The bodies were refused by the police.
The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu, originally disputed reports of any casualties the next day, on October 21, but then acknowledged in an interview with a CNN journalist that “just two persons were killed.”
After first denying any involvement in the shooting, the Nigerian Army eventually acknowledged sending soldiers to the toll gate at the governor’s direction in the state of Lagos.
The Nigerian Army acknowledged to the Lagos Judiciary panel of inquiry investigating the shooting that it had sent its personnel to the toll gate with both live and blank bullets a month after the shooting, following a CNN documentary on the shooting.
On November 24, CNN secured and made public CCTV footage from governmental security cameras positioned above the toll gate as part of their investigation into the shooting. Soldiers were seen firing at demonstrators from both ends of the Toll Gate in CCTV footage and other recordings from the site at the time.
The footage ended at around 8 o’clock because the CCTV had been tampered with, ostensibly to provide cover for the shooting, correlating with earlier testimony provided by the Lekki Concession Company.
Nigerian authorities still dispute that soldiers fired shots at protestors two years later. Police abuse is still occurring.
The big question now is,
Who Gave The Order?
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