A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and activist, Femi Falana, on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to ensure justice is served over the prosecution of military personnel responsible for the death of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.
Falana made this call during an interview on Channels TV ‘Sunrise Daily’ monitored by Ripples Nigeria.
This was in reaction to the submission of the report on the #EndSARS protests by the Lagos Judicial Panel to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The events of the #EndSARS protests snowballed into violence and gore when the Nigerian Army dispatched some officers to the Lekki Toll Gate which resulted in the deaths of many innocent protesters after several gunshots were fired.
Nonetheless, the Federal Government via the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, and the military authorities have repeatedly denied these deaths further enraging the citizenry.
In his statement during the interview, Falana warned the FG to expedite action over the prosecution of the culprits while noting that the International Criminal Court will take over the case if it is left unresolved.
“It is not the Army’s business to go to Lekki, Ambulances turned up and you turned them away; that was premeditated.
“These officials must be sanctioned because the ICC is watching. Under its statutes, the ICC will intervene if the FG refuses to prosecute the culprits. If recommendations are being made towards the prosecution and they are not, that is not the end of the matter.
“The panel said the culprits have to be brought to book; the panel said Nigerians must be allowed to express themselves.
“No President can behave in an isolated form with the mentality of ‘it is an internal affair.'”
Falana further advocated a holistic approach towards the entrenchment of human rights in the country via a synergy between the state governments and the federal government.
He suggested the creation of human rights committees in the states to work together with the Federal committee domiciled in Abuja in order to ensure wider coverage and dispensation of justice.
“The FG is expected to work with the state government to bring to book those involved in the killings of protesters, victims of police brutality. The report also recommended that Oct 20 must be memorial day and apologise to the youth for events of the day.
“The Lagos State panel must be commended over its conduct and compensation for victims. What all Judicial panels must ensure is the establishment of a permanent human rights committee for these issues and it was agreed by the governors in 2020.
“The human rights committee in Abuja finds it difficult to cover the entire country; the creation in every state will ensure the elimination of abuses of civilians by security authorities.
“This means the FG must brainstorm on the type of military and police we want; the Nigerian leaders who took over after independence never decolonised the psyche of the military.”
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