Unrest spreads in Lagos a day after witnesses and rights groups say soldiers opened fire at a crowd protesting against police brutality.
- Unrest spread in Lagos on Wednesday, a day after witnesses and rights groups said army soldiers opened fire on a crowd of peaceful protesters defying a curfew during demonstrations against police brutality in Nigeria’s largest city.
- Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said one person has died at a hospital following the shooting, but it was unclear if the person was a protester. He said 30 people were injured.
- Amnesty International said it was investigating “credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters” at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos.
- Videos showed men in uniform opening fire on demonstrators in Lagos. Nigeria’s military, however, denied responsibility for the Lekki shootings, posting a tweet that labelled several reports as fake news.
Here are the latest updates:
14:00 GMT – Authorities turned peaceful protest into shooting spree: HRW
Human Rights Watch has called on authorities to withdraw soldiers from the streets and hold accountable those responsible for using forces against peaceful demonstrations.
“Nigerian authorities turned a peaceful protest against police brutality into a shooting spree, showing the ugly depths they are willing to go to suppress the voices of citizens,” Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
“The authorities should immediately withdraw the military from the streets, and identify and prosecute officers responsible for or complicit in any excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.”
#Nigeria:After soldiers opened fire at a crowd of protesters in Lagos last night, the authorities should immediately withdraw the military from the streets & identify/prosecute officers responsible for or complicit in any excessive use of force against protesters. #EndSARS @hrw pic.twitter.com/R2UDQ4Ytyk
— Anietie Ewang (@aniewang) October 21, 2020
13:45 – Lagos governor says he ordered probe into army actions
In a televised address, the Lagos governor said he has ordered an investigation into the actions of the military at Lekki plaza, suggesting the army may be responsible for the shooting.
“This is with a view to taking this up with a higher command of the military and to seek the intervention of Mr. President in his capacity as a commander in chief to unravel the sequence of events that happened yesterday night,” he said.
For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no governor controls the rules of engagement of the army. I have nevertheless instructed an investigation into the ordered and the adopted rules of engagement employed by the men of the Nigerian Army deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate.
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) October 21, 2020
13:37 GMT – UN chief calls for end to police brutality
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an end to what he called “brutality” by police in Nigeria.
In a statement, Guterres’s spokesman said the UN chief “urges the security forces to act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence”.
13:30 GMT – Top EU envoy condemns Nigeria protest killings
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned the killing of protesters and has called for justice.
“It is alarming to learn that several people have been killed and injured during the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria,” he said.
“It is crucial that those responsible of abuses be brought to justice and held accountable.”
13:15 GMT – Nigerian TV station torched in Lagos: Director
A major Nigerian TV station linked to one of the ruling party’s top politicians has been set ablaze.
TVC managing director Andrew Hanlon told AFP news agency that “hoodlums” had attacked the station with petrol bombs and that its main building was an “inferno”.