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‘We’ve identified their barracks’, Falana speaks on Lekki shootings

Buhari may have been told about soldiers deployment to Lekki, Falana

FEMI Falana, human rights lawyer and chairman of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB), says the group has identified the barracks of the soldiers who shot at #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday.

“We have already identified the barracks where the soldiers left for Lekki, we have already identified the barracks,” Falana said.

He made the claim during his appearance on ARISE TV on Monday.

Falana, who stated ASCAB would set up an independent panel of inquiry to investigate the October 20 shootings, said from findings by the group, there were indications that President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of plans to deploy the military to Lekki disrupt the protest.

“The President was likely to have been told, soldiers were ordered so I want to believe that’s why it was not addressed and they said it was a rumour but I think the facts are emerging now, that indeed soldiers went to Lekki, indeed they fired at protesters and indeed some of the protesters at least two have been officially acknowledged to have died from gunshot wounds.”

“ASCAB shall establish an Independent National Citizen’s Panel of Inquiry under a number of conditions Composition of the Citizen’s Panel of Inquiry shall comprise representatives of credible and identified organisations of the youth that took part in the #Endsars protest movement, including the Feminist Coalition, among others; representatives of credible and tested civil society organisations,” he said.

Falana also accused the federal government of having no respect for the rule of law and citizens rights to protest.

He noted that constant denials of human abuses by the federal government and its agencies clearly portrays that Nigeria is not a serious country.

“I have never seen it anywhere in the world where in the federal capital of a country where you have all the embassies, you have unmarked vehicles taking thugs round and it was being filmed and the thugs were being ferried by officials of the government and we are being told it’s not the State Security Service and in Lagos it was not the Nigerian Army that shot.

“Such denials do not portray Nigeria as a serious country, because it is the duty of the government anywhere in the world to trace those criminals and bring them to book.

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“Nigerian government has no respect for the rule of law and has ensured they stave off all forms of protests in the country.”

The human rights lawyer frowned at continuous efforts by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to crackdown on peaceful protesters across the country.

“Every designated venue for protest in the country has been fenced by the government to prevent demonstrations.

In Lagos, the Gani Fawehinmin square in Lagos has been fenced while the Unity fountain in Abuja has also been fenced, and the same government has said citizens have the right to protest.”

Last week, there were reports of sporadic shootings at unarmed #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate by soldiers on Tuesday night.

Before the shootings, there was a power outage and alledged removal of CCTV cameras from the toll gate, as captured by video camera.

Several people sustained injuries and from gunshots. An eyewitness account claimed that more than 15 persons were killed by soldiers during the attack.

Also, the Lagos state government also confirmed two persons that died while receiving treatment as a result of the shootings.

The military actions have attracted wide criticism for the Nigerian government with the United Nations and the United States calling for a probe into the incident.

But the Nigerian Defence Headquarters which has continued to deny soldiers were involved in the shootings.

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It claimed that the videos circulating on social media as evidence of involvement were photoshopped.

John Eneche, Director of Information, Defence Headquarters, in a press conference on Friday, described it as mere allegations, stressing that some military analysts had dismissed as untrue.

“I will say that for now, don’t take any response from me that yes we did it or no, but from what I can see, from all the evidence, as a general, I will tell you that it may not be true,” said Eneche.

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