NBA urges FG to investigate Lekki shooting
AfBA set to work with the body at international justice system
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged the Federal Government and all relevant authorities to carry out a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation to identify those who ordered or are behind the shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the military and other security agencies to immediately desist from attacking peacefully protesting citizens.
NBA added that the president must formulate and immediately implement, with demonstrable good faith, a clear course of action which would include dealing decisively with the demands of the #ENDSARS protesters.
In a statement signed by its president, Olumide Akpata, and its secretary, Joyce Oduah, the NBA said there is need for a total overhaul of the Nigeria police and all security and para-military organisations.
According to them, more attention should be paid to the recruitment process of the police and the qualification for enrollment into the various security agencies should be improved upon. The issue of the remuneration and welfare of the officers should also be holistically addressed.
NBA noted that they deplore and deprecate the assault, intimidation and killing of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate and across the country and reiterates that the right to peaceful protest is an inherent right of citizens in any democracy.
They further condemned “in strongest terms possible the action of the hoodlums who took advantage of the peaceful protests to wantonly destroy private and public properties and called on the authorities to urgently investigate, arrest and prosecute those involved in such nefarious and reprehensible activities.”
NBA, therefore, appealed to the peaceful protesters to call off the protests and be ready to dialogue with the government so that their demands can be appropriately addressed.
Meanwhile, the African Bar Association (AfBA) has said it plans to work with the NBA in bringing the sponsors and those found to have violated the rights of Nigerians to account before the international justice system.
They commended the leadership of the NBA for the steps taken so far in dealing with “this monumental crises and urged the Nigeria government to further condemn the attack on innocent peaceful protesters by organized mercenaries and security operatives.”
The group in a statement signed by its president, Hannibal Uwaifo, said it also totally condemn the attack on vital government buildings, the looting and burning of private properties, attack on media houses, correctional centres, and other forms of violence unleashed in several locations in Nigeria especially, Edo, Lagos, Abuja, and several other cities.
The group also welcomed the call by President Buhari for hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful #ENDSARS protest to unleash mayhem on public and private properties to stop the violence.
According to AfBA, President Buhari’s speech fell short of what the Association had anticipated, considering the weighty issues raised by the protesters and others, which is of general concern to the majority of Nigerians.
“The speech, however, acknowledged the Constitutional rights of public protests, in particular, the germane issues of Police impunity,” the group said and called for adequate restitution and compensation in a manner that meets the Justice of all cases.
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