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Lekki Tollgate shooting: Amnesty International releases ‘investigative timeline’

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Lekki Tollgate shooting: Amnesty International releases 'investigative timeline'
A file image of the #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, before the gunfire.

Following the controversies, claims and counter-claims that have been trailing the shooting at peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 20, Amnesty International has released a timeline on what many have termed “Black Tuesday.”

Amnesty International had earlier said it was collating and authenticating videos and other evidence to map out what actually happened on that day.

However, the Army, in a statement, has denied shooting at the protesters, noting that the state government invited the Army to help restore order after chaos ensued.

Vanguard had reported the statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, in which the Division explained that the intervention of the soldiers was at the behest of the Lagos State government.

It read in part: “Finally, headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates that the Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.”

Amnesty International’s investigation

Meanwhile, in Amnesty International’s findings, published on its site on Tuesday, October 28, entitled “Nigeria: The Lekki Toll Gate massacre — new investigative timeline,” the rights group supported its textual analysis with videos and maps.

Amnesty International wrote: “An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International has confirmed that the Nigerian army and police killed peaceful protesters.

“This timeline collates video and photograph footage to confirm that army vehicles left the Bonny Camp — a military base approximately a seven-minute drive from the Lekki Toll Gate at 18:29 local time on October 20.

“The vehicles are tracked to the Toll Gate. At around 18:45 the Nigerian military opened fire on the protesters.”

Peaceful protests at Lekki Tollgate

“Throughout the day on October 20, peaceful protests took place at Lekki Toll Gate. People were seen dancing, having their hair styled, and speeches were made from a podium in front of the Lekki Toll Gate.”

Vehicles leave military base

At 18:29 vehicles leave Bonny Camp to head East along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue— which changes its name to the Lekki-Epe Expressway— in the direction of the Lekki Tollgate.

“On this route, the vehicles passed several embassies and consulates— including the buildings of the Japanese Embassy and the Australian Consulate.”

“A video shared on social media shows vehicles leaving the Bonny Camp— a military base in Lagos. The first vehicle is a light-coloured vehicle, the following two dark-coloured (blue or black), and the final vehicle again a light colour.

“All four vehicles have lights atop, and are flashing lights. The vehicles appear to be vehicles used by the Nigerian military and police.”

Below:

The guild on Facebook Watch: Video footage of soldiers leaving Bonny camp to Lekki toll gate, they were supposed to be there between 9-10pm

In this video, three vehicles are seen heading towards Lekki Toll Gate.  Filmed at Point B on the map below.

Below: In this video filmed further east along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, six vehicles are seeing heading towards Lekki Toll Gate. Filmed at Point C on the map below.”

“From Bonny Camp (point A on the map), to the videos filmed at Point B and Point C, to the Tollgate at Point D is a direct drive of circa seven minutes.

“If the vehicles left Bonny Camp at 18:29 as per the device recording the videos, an arrival at between 18:36 and 18:40 is to be expected.

“Note that the videos filmed from Point B and C show diminishing sunlight, placing the filming of the videos between sunset and dusk.

“In the video and photographs captured at Point D we hear gunfire, and see the vehicles and men in military uniform.”

Vehicles arrive at Lekki Toll Gate and shooting starts

“Filmed from the East side of Lekki Tollgate, here we see the same vehicles in formation— and shortly after, gunfire is heard.

“A 21-minute video posted to Facebook and filmed at the Lekki Tollgate shows the demonstrations as they descend from peaceful to being attacked by the military.

“At 19 minutes into this video we hear the same woman from the video above holding a microphone shouting, ‘Sit down!’.

Posted by Agbonkhese Oboh on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

 

“Among those asking the crowds to sit down is DJ Switch. At 21 minutes into the video, gunfire is heard.

“As the evening continues, protesters continue to film and share videos of the shootings. With reports of the power being cut at the Tollgate, and no artificial light, it is hard to see what happens in these videos— but sounds of gunfire are regularly heard.” (As heard/seen in the two videos below)

Outstanding questions

“While the evidence collected by Amnesty International through on-the-ground interviews and open source research points to military involvement in the killings at Lekki Tollgate on October 20, there are still many questions that need answered.

“Speaking to the BBC on October 21, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos said the initial curfew time was 6pm, which got extended to 10pm at the last minute.

“He notes that soldiers were dispatched from a barracks 10 minutes away from Lekki Tollgate, ‘down the same road’ and that gunshots were fired.

“He acknowledges that video footage shows soldiers.

“Who ordered the killings? Why was the light at the tollgate switched off before the attacks on protesters? When will there be accountability for these killings?

“The authorities must answer these questions immediately, end the killing and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters across the country and commit to implementing their demands for police reform and accountability for police brutality.”

VANGUARD

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