Last Updated on April 21, 2021 by Ope Quadri
Human rights lawyer Mr. Femi Falana says the killings by the military at Lekki tollgate during #EndSars protest must not be swept under the carpet, the military is “known for lies and deception,” he said.
“Nobody should believe the military, it has a history of lies, fraud and deception,” he said.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said there must be justice for the victims of Lekki shooting.
Protesters had gathered during the protest calling for an end to police brutality and end to impunity and poor governance in the country.
It was gathered that government officials stormed the area to remove CCTV camera, shortly, soldiers arrived at the scene and opened fire on the protesters.
More than 10 protesters were reportedly killed.
The state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says there was no fatality at the scene, but later accepted that two persons were killed. He denied knowledge of military presence.
Contrary to his claim, the military said they acted on the invitation of the governor, who promised to bring perpetrators to justice.
But speaking at a virtual #EndSARS meeting organised by Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, Falana said most of the witnesses of the massacre were not ready to speak out because of fear of intimidation.
He likened the Lekki killings to Shi’ites killings in Zaria where the military was accused of killing more than 300 347 Shi’ites in Zaria, Kaduna state, in 2015.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) and a panel set up by the Kaduna state government found the Army culpable.
Mr Falana accused the army of lying about the incident at Lekki, saying soldiers shouldn’t have been at a scene of a peaceful protest.
Making reference to the Shi’ites killing the senior lawyer said, “Just in December 2015, the same chief of army staff claimed there was a traffic jam in Zaria and the big man wanted to move.
“And because of that traffic, he got soldiers from the first division in Kaduna to mow down hundreds of Shi’ites. And what was the explanation?
“That the Shi’ites wanted to assassinate the chief of army staff, and so his boys had to save him and in the process, they repelled these Shi’ites who had guns and about six or seven people died.
“But in a commission of enquiry set up by the Kaduna state government, we were told that indeed, 347 Nigerians were killed by the military; no autopsy, no postmortem, nothing whatsoever.
He accused of the military of taking away dead bodies of victims at night and given a mass burial.”
And people will ask you, ‘if anybody lost his child in Lekki, why can’t they come up?’ Who has come up in the case of Zaria? Because you must understand the environment under which we operate.”
The Lekki shooting and killing has turned to a drama of accusation and counter-accusation between the state governor and the military.
This means the promise by the governor to bring killers to book might be another mirage.