The United Nations has asked the Nigerian Government to set up a credible, independent inquiry into the shooting and killing of peaceful #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki, Lagos, on October 20, 2020.
The UN rights experts also said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government must ensure that victims of the shooting get deserved justice.
“Governments come and go, but #PoliceBrutality is as intractable as ever. Nigerians need justice,” the UN experts said.
The UN noted that while excessive use of force during peaceful protests is always unacceptable, the Lekki shooting was “especially disturbing because demonstrators were precisely calling for accountability for previous police brutality”.
It added that the fact that CCTV cameras and lights were apparently switched off shortly before soldiers opened fire indicates a disturbing level of premeditation.
The UN lamented that despite raising issues of police brutality with the Nigerian Government, nothing has changed in the country.
The UN said, “Since 2005, UN Special Rapporteurs have repeatedly raised the issue of police killings and impunity with the Nigerian Government.
“We have had 15 years of government promises, but nothing has changed.
“What is particularly disturbing is that the authorities said they had disbanded the SARS and agreed to the protesters other demands, including investigations
“But they immediately announced the formation of another similar unit and have not ended the excessive use of force.”
The UN also asked the Nigerian Government to identify, who gave the orders to the soldiers to shoot at the protesters, insisting that systematic police brutality and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters must be independently and impartially investigated.
“In addition to setting up an independent inquiry, the Nigerian authorities must clarify why the military was deployed and who gave the order.
“Any investigation must aim to identify lines of responsibility, deliver accountability and justice, provide remedies and reparations, and recommend structural and systemic changes,” the UN rights experts said.