Lekki shootings: AI reveals how soldiers left Bonny Camp

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Amnesty International (AI) said Nigerian authorities must end their attempts to cover up the Lekki Tollgate massacre.

In a statement signed by the organisation, it revealed that it released a new timeline for investigating the atrocity one week later.

According to the the timeline, there are photographs and video footage which confirm that Nigerian Army vehicles left Bonny Camp, a military base approximately a seven-minute drive from the toll gate, at 6:29pm local time on October 20, 2020.

It was learnt that footage then tracks the vehicles to the tollgate and at approximately 6:45pm, the Nigerian military opened fire on the #EndSARS protesters who were peacefully calling for an end to police brutality.

The Country Director of Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho, said the shooting at Lekki Tollgate is Nigeria’s pattern in covering up unlawful killing.

Ojigho said: “What happened at Lekki Toll Gate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities’ pattern of a cover-up whenever their defence and security forces commit unlawful killings.

“One week on, the Nigerian authorities still have many questions to answer: who ordered the use of lethal force on peaceful protesters? Why were CCTV cameras on the scene dismantled in advance? And who ordered electricity being turned off minutes before the military opened fire on protesters?

“The initial denials of the involvement of soldiers in the shooting was followed by the shameful denial of the loss of lives as a result of the military’s attack against the protests.

“Many people are still missing since the day of the incident, and credible evidence shows that the military prevented ambulances from reaching the severely injured in the aftermath.”

The organisation said they are calling on the Nigerian authorities to again bring to justice those behind the shooting and to protect those who are exercising their right to freedom of assembly.

However, the organisation stated that its still investigating the shooting and the reported removal of bodies of those killed by the military in an attempt to remove evidence that will track the military’s movements.

The organisation noted that their Crisis Response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirm the Nigerian security forces were present at the Lekki Tollgate when the shootings occurred.

The report said: “At 6:29pm local time in Lagos, two military vehicles were filmed leaving Bonny Camp on videos shared on social media.

“Later, footage shows four vehicles with flashing lights in a convoy, and they appear to be vehicles used by the Nigerian military and police.

“The same vehicles head east along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue – which changes its name to the Lekki-Epe Expressway – in the direction of the Lekki Toll Gate.

“On this route, the vehicles pass several international embassies and consulates, including the Japanese Embassy and the Australian High Commission.

“Further photographs and footage capture the vehicles arriving at the tollgate, before the peaceful protest is disrupted by men in military uniform and gunfire is heard.

“As night time descended, protesters continued to film and share videos of the shootings. Later in the evening, videos of the victims were also shared on social media.”

Amnesty International has been monitoring developments across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protest began on October 8.

The organisation said Nigerians have been taking to the streets, peacefully demanding an end to police brutality, extrajudicial executions and extortion by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian Police tasked with fighting violent crimes.

Amnesty International revealed that at least 56 people have died across the country since the protests began.

They added that in multiple cases, security forces have used excessive force in an attempt to control or stop the protests.

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