Lies and Hail of Bullets: CAPPA seeks criminal prosecution over EndSARS report
CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi(right); a survivor, Dabira Oluwa(2nd right) and other survivors at the launch of “Lies and the Hail of Bullets: #EndSARS — the story of Lekki shootings by survivors,” on Thursday October 22.

By Agbonkhese Oboh

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, has demanded that criminal prosecution be instituted against individuals found to have committed the massacre that happened on October 20, 2020 at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.

CAPPA made the call following the findings of the EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution constituted by the Lagos government.

The panel, which sat for over a year, submitted its findings to the Lagos state government yesterday, Monday.

The report establishes the fact that Nigeria’s Army led by Lt. Col Bello was at Lekki Gate on October 20, 2020, and further described the event of that day as a “massacre in a context”.

In the 309-page report, the judicial panel confirms the Lekki shooting and goes further to publish the list of victims and casualties of the Lekki shooting, indicting the Nigerian Army and police of complicity in the death of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

Part of the recommendations of the panel included that all men of the Nigerian Army excluding Major General Omata that were deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, be made to face appropriate disciplinary action and/or stripped of their status and dismissed.

It also recommended disciplinary actions be taken against Major General Godwin Umelo and Lt. Col S.O. Bello, who refused to honor the summons of the panel in order to frustrate the investigation.

The panel indicted Nigerian Army officers of having “shot, injured and killed unarmed helpless and defenceless protesters, without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the national anthem and the manner of assault and killing could in context be described as a massacre.”

Denial

Reacting, CAPPA, in a statement by its Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor, said: “Despite an abundance of evidence which includes testimonials and visuals, the Nigerian government continued to deny that protesters were shot and killed.

“Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, even went as far as describing the Lekki incident as a ‘phantom massacre’.”

It quoted CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, as stating that “It is a sad testament for our nation that harmless protesters were mowed down this way while peacefully waving the national flag the military was established to protect.

“The findings of the Judicial Panel that the Lagos State government received is what we confirmed long ago and documented in our report— Lies and the Hail of Bullets.”

Oluwafemi pointed out that in the face of undeniable atrocities perpetrated by Nigerian security forces the Nigerian government and their image makers walked the lonely road of woeful denial, adding that “what we are now demanding is justice for the victims.”

Lies and the Hail of Bullets

On Thursday October 22, 2021, CAPPA launched “Lies and the Hail of Bullets: #EndSARS — the story of Lekki shootings by survivors,” an expository account of the events of October 20, 2021, at Lekki Tollgate where survivors and victims’ families narrated their ordeals.

CAPPA invited victims of Lekki shooting and families of deceased protesters, who also gave vivid account of the atrocity, as captured in the report.

The report both in print and video documentary format was accompanied by a follow-up letter by CAPPA to the United Nations, office of the High Commissioner and the International Criminal Court, urging both bodies to act and investigate the incident.

CAPPA said: “The government had swung into its usual denial action afterwards. The report threw up many unanswered questions about the Lekki shootings.

“They include who invited the army to the Lekki Tollgate? Who was the senior military man that asked the soldiers to stop shooting?

“Why won’t hospitals release bullets they extracted from victims? Why the desperate orchestrated cover up from government, its paid agents, and proxies?

“Why is government so intolerant of even a memorial for the EndSARS victims?”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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