The Amnesty International has confirmed footage depicting #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate being shot at by security forces to be of the Nigerian military.
According to report, several media outlets revealed that Nigerians protesting against the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were shot at by security forces. What is now being termed a “massacre” by many, occurred at Lekki Toll Gate shortly after the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, abruptly declared a 24-hour curfew in Lagos.
Additionally, unknown men had been filmed removing CCTV cameras from the region prior to the shooting. While there has been no official death toll, many protesters were injured with gruesome images and videos depicting this circulating on social media. No official death toll has been recorded although one protester told the BBC that they personally witnessed at least 20 dead bodies. In response to last night’s tragic events, the Nigerian military has denied that they were responsible for shooting at the protesters with live ammunition.
A few hours after excessively denying the claims, Amnesty International Nigeria verified the attack in a Twitter thread saying, “Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45pm and 9:00pm on Tuesday 20 October, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for an end to police brutality.”
Many claim to have witnessed many more fatalities, but this has yet to be confirmed.
According to Nigeria’s Premium Times, the spokesperson for the Nigerian military, Sagir Musa, said that the military had “nothing to do with the attack” as it was a “civil matter”. However, after having been confronted with video footage that some of the shooters were in fact soldiers, Musa simply responded by saying, “I am not aware.”
Additionally, the military cited the reported presence of the army at the protests as being “fake news” via their Twitter account.
As previously reported in our earlier coverage, neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the Inspector General, Mohammed Adamu, have responded to the events at Lekki Toll Gate as yet. Additionally, International bodies such as the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have not released any statements condemning the recent violence against protesters. Furthermore, no African leaders have condemned the violence in Nigeria.
Public figures such as Hilary Clinton, Gabrielle Union, Burna Boy, Davido, Rihanna, Genevieve Nnaji and numerous others have spoken out against the continued police brutality against Nigerian youth.