The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the killings of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday, 20 October, adding that even if protesters were breaching curfew, such actions did not warrant the use of live ammunition by the Nigerian military.
This was disclosed in a statement by the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, in the early hours of Wednesday. He said that the association condemns the “…act of recklessness and lawlessness by the security apparatus of the Nigerian Government in what, based on reports available to us, appears to have been a carefully calculated and premeditated attack on peaceful protesters.”
The @NigBarAssoc strongly condemns the act of recklessness and lawlessness by the security apparatus of the Nigerian Government in what, based on reports available to us, appears to have been a carefully calculated and premeditated attack on peaceful protesters. pic.twitter.com/IdGoAGLoVu
— Olumide Akpata (@OlumideAkpata) October 20, 2020
Nairametrics had earlier reported that several social media accounts revealed that peaceful protesters were being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll holdout for the #EndSars protest.
From news reports of the incident, many lives were lost in the attack, while several others were injured during the melee that ensued.
“The NBA states that even if the protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza were in breach of the curfew imposed by the Lagos State Government, such a misdemeanor or breach did not warrant the use of live ammunition by the Nigerian military to confront peaceful, unarmed and defenseless protesters,” the NBA said.
The NBA added that the shootings should never have happened under any normal democracy. It urged the Military to identity and name officers involved in the operation for immediate prosecution. The NBA announced that it would begin legal proceedings against the Army on behalf of the families of the victims, for abuse of power and infringement of fundamental rights.
The NBA also announced an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee in 48 hours to review the state of the nation and implement steps to deal with the situation and prevent the nation from further going adrift.