Group seeks justice for victims of #EndSARS protests, petitions ICC
The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), at the weekend, demanded justice for victims of last year’s #EndSARS protests, especially those killed or maimed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos on October 20, 2020.
The advocacy group made the demand during the public presentation of a book and documentary, titled: “Lies And The Hail Of Bullets”, to mark the first anniversary of #EndSARS shootings at the Lekki tollgate.
Speaking at the unveiling of the documentary and report, Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, lamented that government has not only ordered and supervised the killing of innocent youths, who were protesting peacefully waving the national flag and singing the National Anthem, but also tried to cover it up by singing discordant tunes.
Oluwafemi, who said the Nigerian government should ensure justice for victims and survivors of the attacks on youths by the military for demanding an end to police brutality and good governance, maintained that #EndSARS is a movement that will not die.
He stressed that the events that followed the first anniversary of the protests, affirmed that government had not learnt any lessons from the experience.
He said: “Yet, Nigerian youths have spoken and the government must listen. Enough is enough! There must be an end to police brutality in Nigeria. Nigerians are demanding just and accountable government.
“There is no democracy without dissent. We reject attempts to erode our right to basic freedoms as citizens. The police are for the citizens, not a regime or elite protection force. We join the call for justice for all #EndSARS victims, justice for all victims of the protests and the driver that was assaulted and brutalised on October 20, 2021.”
Speaking further, other activists Aderonke Ige, Achike Chude and Soweto Hassan called for the release of all #EndSARS protesters being held in various police cells across the country.
“What Nigerian youths are calling for is accountability and good governance and we align totally with those demands. A new Nigeria must arise from the ashes of the #EndSARS protests to a nation of freedoms, dignity and human rights,” they said.
Survivors, who shared their experiences of the attack, most of who had bullet wound scars in parts of their bodies, and some whose legs were amputated due to bullet injuries, insisted that the military officers came to kill at the Lekki tollgate, but not to scare protesters away.
They are Dabira Oluwa, Damilola Adedayo, Faleye Olalekan, Edwin Augustine Ekene, Ajumobi Olajide, Ayedungbe Olufunmi, Ibeh Perpetual Kamsi and James Akhigbe. Others are Joshua Samuel, Jude Balogun, Nathaniel Solomon, Nicholas Anthony, Patrick Ukala, Samuel Isah, Stanley Chimezie and Samuel Ashola.
ALSO, CAPPA has petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands, urging it to intervene and get justice for victims of crimes against humanity in Nigeria.
Titled: Justice for Victims of Crimes Against Humanity in Nigeria: A Call for Urgent Intervention, the group called ICC’s attention to the deteriorating situation in the pursuit of justice for the victims of the #EndSARS killings in Lagos on October 20, 2020 and thereafter.
“We seek speedy investigation into the alleged crimes by the Nigerian government and the Nigerian Army under the command of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai. We also seek immediate probe, investigation and arrest of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd.) for his alleged personal involvement in ordering the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos,” the petition said.