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Outrage over shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters in Lagos

Access Bank

Outrage has greeted the shooting, Tuesday night, of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.

Among the first set of concerned citizens to condemn it was eminent lawyer and activist Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, who wrote on is Facebook wall: “#EndSARS

“It is unacceptable to open fire on armless and defenceless citizens. Reports of shooting by soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate is most barbaric and unacceptable. These protesters have been the most orderly, most organized and most peaceful so far.

“These are children holding nothing but the flags of their nation. What the security should have done was to go to the zones of violence and wanton destruction and stop the thugs and criminals, not these innocent children.

“Even though we identify with the government on the need to restore law and order, there are other means to do that without resorting to using live bullets on these future leaders.

“To think that the protest itself was against police brutality.

“I call on the protesters to comply with the curfew imposed in demonstration of their commitment to the rule of law and due process.

“I urge the security to cease further assault on the protesters. Government must identify all those responsible and bring them to justice.

“I’m heartbroken.”

Also reacting swiftly to the incident, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said: “Under the Nigerian constitution, 1999 [as amended] and human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a state party, the authorities are obligated to respect and protect the right to life and security of the person, the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly of everyone, including peaceful protesters.

“We call on the Nigeria authorities to order a prompt, independent and impartial inquiry into the reports of shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll gate by security agents, identify suspected perpetrators and ensure that they are brought to justice without delay.

“All the victims must be allowed access to justice and effective remedies, including adequate compensation, satisfaction and guarantee of non-repetition.

“SERAP calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open investigations into cases of attacks on peaceful protesters in Nigeria in the context of #EndSARS.

“SERAP believes that substantial grounds exist to warrant the intervention of the Prosecutor in this case. Pursuant to the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor has power to intervene in a situation under the jurisdiction of the Court if the Security Council or states parties refer a situation or if information is provided from other sources such as the information that is now publicly available in the country.”

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) similarly expressed outrage over the shooting of unarmed youthful protesters. It said in a statement: “The ‘hard core’ of human rights meaning that certain fundamental rights laid-down in International Human Rights Laws instruments can never be derogated from. In particular, these include the right to life, the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment or punishment, the prohibition of slavery and servitude, and the principle of legality and non-retroactivity of the law.”

HURIWA demanded an investigation into the unfortunate incident.

The shooting has attracted widespread condemnation on social media, with several commentators lamenting that Nigeria as declared war on its youthful citizens. (News Express)

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