AFP
Wire Service
1 minute read
24 Nov 2021
1:03 am

Nigeria dismisses leaked report on bloody crackdown of protesters

AFP

The youth-led protest started as a campaign to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) -- a police unit notorious for extortion, torture and extrajudicial killings.

Protesters hold banners during a demonstration in Abuja on June 12, 2021, as Nigerian activists called for nationwide protests over what they criticise as bad governance and insecurity, as well as the recent ban of US social media platform Twitter by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

The Nigerian government on Tuesday dismissed a leaked judicial investigation that said 15 people were killed or missing after a crackdown on mass protests in Lagos last year.

Submitted to state authorities on November 15, the leaked report contradicts the army’s version of what happened at the city’s Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.

The report found that 11 people were killed, four more were missing and 21 others were wounded by gunshots.

Amnesty International said separately last year that 10 people were killed.

The army has denied that security forces opened fire with live rounds.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters Tuesday “there is absolutely nothing in the report that is circulating to make us change our stand that there was no massacre at Lekki.”

The report was “riddled with errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, innuendos and conclusions that are not supported by evidence,” he said.

The document “cannot be relied upon” as it is not yet officially public, he added.

The youth-led protest started as a campaign to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) — a police unit notorious for extortion, torture and extrajudicial killings.

A judicial panel was set up by Lagos state government to investigate the crackdown at Lekki and other claims of police brutality. 

The commission’s findings were leaked last week and widely circulated online. 

A member of the panel and a Lagos state government official told AFP that the document was authentic.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed a “proper response” to the panel’s recommendations, adding that a “white paper” would be published by the end of the month.