Victims of the Nigerian security forces’ crackdown on anti-police brutality protestors have yet to get justice one year on from nationwide demonstrations, according to international human rights groups.
In separate statements Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have expressed doubts about the willingness of the Nigerian authorities to hold officers implicated in rights abuses to account.
Amnesty International says so far no member of the security forces has been brought to justice for what it called “torture, violence and killings of peaceful protesters”.
It says at least 12 people were killed by the army and the police during protests on 20 October last year in Lekki and Alausa areas of Lagos.
Human Rights Watch says failure to deliver justice to victims will strengthen what it called a “culture of impunity”.
The Nigerian authorities deny that demonstrators were killed by the security forces.
Referencing the 20 October 2020 events in Lekki whereby the Nigerian army opened fire on protestors, the country’s Information Minister dismissed it as fake.
Information Minister Lai Muhammed cited evidence given to a judicial panel of Inquiry in Lagos which stated that “no military grade live ammunition” was fired at demonstrators in Lekki.
He said the only massacre was a “phantom” recorded on social media, with neither bodies nor blood.
The government has said that around 70 people, including civilians and the security forces, were killed in two weeks across the country during the protests when “criminals” hijacked the demonstrations.