A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said on Wednesday the families of #EndSARS protesters killed by soldiers in Lagos were afraid of speaking out “because of the environment under which we operate in Nigeria.”
Falana, who stated this at the “#EndSARS Zoom Meeting Global,” hosted by Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, told Nigerians and the international community not to believe the Nigerian Army’s explanations on the shooting of the #EndSARS protesters in the Lekki area of Lagos.
The Nigerian Army said on Tuesday night the Lagos State government invited its troops to enforce the curfew imposed on the state.
In a statement issued by the Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 81 Division, Maj. Osoba Olaniyi, the army insisted that the soldiers did not shot the protesters.
The force added that its personnel acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement for Internal Security operations.
Falana, however, said the army has “a history of lies, fraud, and deception” while making reference to the December 2015 Shiites incident in Zaria, Kaduna.
He said: “Nobody should believe the military because it has a history of lies, fraud and deception.
“Just in December 2015, the same Chief of Army Staff, Gen. (Tukur) Buratai claimed that 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 Shiites.
“And what was the explanation? That the Shiites wanted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff and about six or seven persons died.
“But in the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government, we were told that indeed 347 Nigerians were killed by the military. No autopsy, no postmortem, nothing was done. Their bodies were taken away in the dead of the night and given a mass burial.
“And people will ask you, if anybody lost his child in Lekki, why have they not come up? Who has come up in the case of Zaria? Because you must understand the environment under which we operate.
“By the way, some of those injured in Lekki had to forcefully discharge themselves because they were told in the hospital that they were going to be held liable for the riot in town. And so, everybody had to move.
“But as of today, the governor of Lagos State has admitted that two people lost their lives. The circumstances would have to be explained later but those two were among those shot by the soldiers.”
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