Amnesty International Nigeria has asked the Lagos State government to put on hold its plan to give mass burial to 103 victims of the 2020 Endsars protests in the state.
The group said this is necessary to allow for a transparent coroner’s inquest on the 103 slain EndSARS protesters and ascertain their true identities and circumstances of their deaths.
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, made these demands in a statement on Monday.
“The Nigerian authorities must urgently halt their plans to carry out a secret mass burial of #EndSARS victims and instead carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the killings and ensure that those suspected to be responsible are brought to justice in fair trials.
“It is appalling that the Lagos state government has not even mentioned that it has held the bodies of 103 #EndSARS victims in its custody since October 2020.
“All those detained because of their role in the #EndSARS protests must be immediately released.
“The Nigerian authorities must also ensure that victims and their families are provided with access to justice and effective remedies, including adequate compensation,” the statement said
The non-governmental organisation noted that it had been monitoring developments across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, 2020.
“In October 2020, an on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International confirmed that Nigerian security forces opened fire on thousands of peaceful protesters, who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality, killing at least 12 protesters at Lekki toll gate and in Alausa.
“Amnesty International was able to establish that pro-government supporters instigated violence at many of the demonstrations, providing cover for the police to use lethal force against peaceful protesters.
“On 16 November 2020, a Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate the Lekki toll gate killings submitted its report, which indicted the military and the police for killing unarmed protesters, who were sitting on the floor and waving Nigerian flags and singing,” Amnesty International explained.