Human Rights News Nigeria

#EndSARS: 40 Protesters Still Languishing in Jail Two Years After Protest

Nigeria witnessed one of the biggest demonstrations in its history in October 2020, #EndSARS when youths marched through the streets and major roads in the country in protest against brutalities by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigeria Police Force (now disbanded).

They were, however, ended abruptly after some of the protesters were allegedly killed at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020.

Two years on after the incident, organisers and victims of the ENDSARS protests are calling for full implementation of the reports of the judicial panels of inquiry set up by the government to probe the protests.

Amnesty International has revealed that no fewer than 40 protesters during the unrest are still languishing in jail.

In a statement yesterday, Amnesty International said panels set up across the country to investigate police impunity have failed to deliver justice to hundreds of victims of police brutality.

According to the statement signed by the organisation’s media manager, Isa Sanusi quoted the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, as saying:

“The fact that nobody has been brought to justice over the torture and killings of #EndSARS protesters is a stain on Nigeria’s human rights records. Meanwhile, human rights violations by the police continue unabated.

“The authorities must ensure that suspected perpetrators of the deadly crackdown on #EndSARS protesters are brought to justice in fair trials and address impunity for police brutality.

“Two years ago, the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 people at Lekki toll Gate and in Alausa, Lagos State, while pro-government armed groups deliberately instigated violence at many #EndSARS demonstrations in other parts of the country to serve as a pretext for the police to use of lethal force on peaceful protesters. Rather than bringing those responsible for the attacks on protesters to justice, the authorities have engaged in series of bizarre denials and cover ups.”

The authorities must ensure that suspected perpetrators of the deadly crackdown on #EndSARS protesters are brought to justice in fair trials and address impunity for police brutality,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

In an attempt to justify the detention, Nigerian authorities say the ongoing detention of #EndSARS protesters is a result of charges including theft, arson, possession of unlawful firearms, and murder.

At the second anniversary of the ENDSARS protests, Ayoyinka Oni, who is the leader of the Takeitback group, who spoke on the theme ‘ENDSARS justice now: Justice delayed is justice denied, called for full compensation of victims of protest, saying there should not be any back-door payments.

Like the protest, the anniversary is also leading trends on social media with the hashtags #LekkiMassacre #EndSARSMemorial2.

While some Twitter users are using the platform to remember their loved ones who lost their lives through the massacre, for others it is time to throw caution to politicians.

None of these tweets came without a picture or two sparking some emotions of pain.

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