Over 30 human rights groups in Africa under the aegis of Coalition of Human Rights Organizations in Africa have asked the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to investigate the alleged murder of protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza.
The coalition comprises organizations like the Human Rights Development and Advocacy Centre; Coalition Ivoirienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (Ivory Coast); Network of Human Rights Journalists (The Gambia); Nigeria Human Rights Commission; Pos Foundation (Ghana); Campaign for Human Rights and Development (Sierra Leone); and Coalition Togolaise des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (Togo).
Others are Campaign for Democracy (Nigeria); Media Right Concern (Nigeria); Partnership for Justice (Nigeria); Human Rights Defenders in Liberia (Liberia); Coalition Malienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (Mali); Forum des Organizations Nationales des Droits de l’Homme (Mauritania); and Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development (Nigeria).
In a statement on Friday tagged ‘Dark Tuesday,’ over 30 human rights groups in West Africa asked the Banjul, The Gambia-based African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to investigate and make recommendations on the alleged killings.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, the Executive Director, HURIDAC, Ayodele Ameen, condemned the shooting of the protesters, saying that the alleged killings were a violation of the Rome Statute, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The statement partly read: “The Nigerian citizen has a legitimate right to protest under the Nigerian constitution and their Freedom of Expression and Association is enshrined under the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, which is domestic law in Nigeria.
“The loss of lives is unnecessary; the military shooting the youth was avoidable. We hereby call on the African Commission to investigate and make recommendations on these alleged killings; the Nigerian President (retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari) to ensure that the military is brought to justice for these alleged killings.
“The Lagos State Government (who has jurisdiction) should ensure that the incident is independently investigated. ECOWAS should continue to monitor the situation and support the Nigerian government to avoid the repetition of the alleged incident of unlawful killings.
“The Nigeria Human Rights Commission and other Civil Society Organizations should get justice for all victims of #ENDSARS campaign.”