By Omeiza Ajayi
The Buhari Media Organization BMO has accused global rights watchdog, Amnesty International and anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International of working with their local collaborators in Nigeria to set up parallel investigative panels just so as to rubbish the judicial panels on police brutality earlier constituted by sub-national entities in the country.
At a news conference Tuesday in Abuja, Chairman of the organization, Niyi Akinsiju who was flanked by other members of the team said about $750, 000 has been earmarked for the project.
He said; “These local collaborators, operating under the guise of Coalition for Survival of Covid-19 and led by a prominent human rights lawyer, are bent on discrediting the judicial panel investigating the alleged Lekki shootings and the defunct SARS’ alleged brutalities.
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“On the surface, this Covid-19 coalition is supposedly on a mission to enrich ongoing investigations into ‘age-long abuses suffered by Nigerians in the hand of members of the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS)’ in as many as 30 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where panels have been set up, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
“These individuals who should have used the open platform of the judicial panel in Lagos to prove their claim of massacre at the Lekki toll gate on October 20 are now colluding with Amnesty International which is still struggling to manufacture evidence of its allegations of a massacre that night by soldiers.
“We have reasons to believe that this investigative panel which they intend to run parallel with the States’ Judicial Panel, is nothing short of a charade paid for by Amnesty International and Transparency Initiative to smear the image of the Nigerian Army with contrived testimonies.
“A substantial fund running into US$750,000 (N360,000 000) has been provided and paid into an account outside the country. The information at our disposal is that the organisers are still expecting more funds for the hatchet job they have signed up for.
“Their modus operandi will include using people who will be identified as military men, with their faces masked, to present damaging ‘testimonies’ against the Army authorities.
“We also have it on good authority that the United States’ Cable News Network (CNN), which blatantly refused to appear before the Lagos panel on its so-called investigative report on the Lekki incident is bracing up to give full coverage to the gathering.
“We also urge security agencies to be alert to the antics of these lackeys of foreign bodies who rather than use their coalition for the purpose of galvanizing Nigerians to survive the negative impacts of Covid-19 and ensure equity is served through the ongoing public sittings of the judicial panels across the country, are more interested in helping their paymasters sustain the lies that they have been unable to prove for weeks”.