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CSOs demand prosecution of security agents involved in killing of #EndSARS protesters

CSOs demand prosecution of security agents involved in killing of #EndSARS protesters
October 21
17:04 2020

A coalition of civil society organisations has called for the prosecution of security agents involved in the killing of #EndSARS protesters.

The coalition made up of 32 CSOs, in a statement, expressed shock at the killings of “peaceful protesters across Nigeria yesterday.”

It further condemned the lack of restraint and the level of impunity displayed by the military officials “who obeyed this unlawful order to unleash maximum force on protesters.”

“The attempt to fight for justice over police brutality has again revealed the brutal nature of the Nigerian state. At the last count, not less than 40 Nigerians have lost their lives as a result of violent attempts to crack down or disrupt the ongoing protests against police brutality,” the statement said.

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“There is also documentary evidence, which indicts a combined force of sponsored thugs and members of the Nigerian security forces for the deaths of innocent protesters. Particularly disturbing is the massacre of unarmed and very peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos yesterday.

“The sight of the Nigerian flag stained with the blood of the nation’s youth, in a month the country celebrated sixty years of independence, is a gory sight to behold. These killings are totally unacceptable, just as they stand condemned.

“It is pertinent to recall that this coalition previously warned the Nigerian authorities about the danger of deploying the military to confront unarmed protesters.

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“We therefore strongly condemn the needless loss of the lives of young Nigerians as a result of the blatant refusal to heed warnings that the government should NOT bring in the military to quell a protest by citizens demanding police reforms and good governance.”

The coalition said it is disheartening that the armed forces who are supposed to be servants and protectors of the people “are the very elements firing live ammunition on protesters.”

It said: “We reiterate our initial point by stating that the grievances driving the protests are legitimate, and also condemn the activities of hoodlums, who have perpetrated acts to cause mayhem and undermine the essence of the peaceful protests.

“We call on all friends of Nigeria to sustain pressure on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in members of the armed forces carrying out these killings of unarmed protesters. We demand the investigation of perpetrators of the ongoing atrocities targeted at unarmed protesters.

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“We call on the National Assembly to hold an emergency session to address the killing of protesters and hold a national public hearing to investigate the abuse of power and killing of peaceful protesters by security agencies and the failure to arrest thugs and hoodlums who attacked the #EndSARS protesters and innocent citizens across different states.

“This coalition calls on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation to ongoing crimes against humanity being committed against the peaceful and unarmed #EndSars protesters in Nigeria.

“We also demand an open trial of all those involved in previous acts of police brutality, human rights abuse and crackdowns, which have led to the needless deaths of defenceless citizens.”

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