CSOs Bash FG, Buhari’s Aide for Dismissing Amnesty International’s Report on Lekki Toll Gate Killing
The Presidency in Nigeria on Thursday said the reports of Amnesty International (AI) on the #EndSARS protests and the ensuing crisis in the country was “misleading and inaccurate”.
President Buhari’s media aide, Femi Adesina, who spoke on the Channels Television programme ‘Sunrise Daily’, said the notion that the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, fuelled the crisis across the country was a misleading, adding that the country had been witnessing the killing of policemen and civilians, the burning of police stations, as well as the looting and destruction of private and public property in various parts of the country before the Lekki incident.
He said the jail breaks in Benin and Oko, the attacks on police stations and murder of police personnel in different places that happened before the alleged shooting at Lekki Toll Gate indicated that AI’s report on the crisis was inaccurate.
Meanwhile, Vanguard newspaper reported some civil society organizations (CSOs), on Thursdaty to have said the rejection of Amnesty International’s timeline investigative report on the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate by the Presidency was not surprising.
The daily said the CSOs dismissed Adesina’s explanations as inconsequential and pedestrian.
It quoted the legal counsel to #RevolutionNow Movement, Inibehe Effiong Esq., to have said : “It doesn’t lie in the Presidency’s position to either accept or reject the AI report. The document was released into the public domain and not submitted to the President.
“It’s unfortunate that the Federal Government appears to be missing the opportunity presented by the report to deepen its inquiry into the massacre of innocent Nigerian protesters.
“The report is there in the public space for anyone to go through and draw inferences as to who is telling the truth between the Presidency and Amnesty International.
“We consider it shameful that the government has not realized the masses take their self-contradictory explanations about what transpired on ‘Black Tuesday’ in Lekki with a pinch of salt.”
Vanguard also quoted the programme director, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, to have said: “We were not expecting the Presidency to accept either the Amnesty International report, or that of the various judicial panels of inquiry that have so far been set up at different levels.”
The paper said she challenged the federal government to come clean with the whereabouts of the panel reports that indicted the military of severe human rights violations, particularly the mass shooting and burial of the Shi’ites in Zaria five years ago.
Also quoted was the convener of Centre for Liberty, Raphael Adebayo, who said, “The Presidency’s rejection of the AI report is inconsequential because, as far as we know, the investigative timeline was built on facts which are universally sacred.
“So, Adesina’s remarks simply reinforce the belief in some quarters that the government is ‘tone deaf’ to the yearnings and aspirations of the masses.
“But what matters most in this scenario is that justice is not only served, but actually seen to be served. Shooting dead, unarmed protesters who were waving the Nigerian flag and singing the national anthem by suspected military personnel amounts to an act of treason.
“So, President Buhari must realize that the buck stops at his desk as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to protect and defend the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. “The onus lies with him to tell Nigerians who desecrated the symbols of our nationhood. If the Presidency is denying the AI report, it must then tell Nigerians who ordered the Lekki massacre.”
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