Six months after a court tribunal indicted security personnel in the deaths of #EndSars protestors in 2020, Nigerian authorities have been accused of neglecting to provide justice.
Human Rights Watch has charged the government with implementing the panel’s findings and holding those responsible accountable.
“The findings of the judicial panel of inquiry should not be ignored with no consequences for those responsible for murdering and wounding protestors,” it concluded.
Failure to act on the panel’s findings, it added in a statement, would send a devastating message to victims and risk promoting future aggression by security agents.
Hundreds of young people flocked to the streets of Nigeria’s main cities in October 2020 to demand the disbandment of a police squad known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), as part of the #EndSars movement.
Security personnel were accused of using excessive force, including gunshot, in their response.
One of the most heinous crackdowns occurred at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, when army and police forces allegedly opened fire on a gathering of protestors.
In November of last year, a tribunal appointed by the Lagos state government in the aftermath of the demonstrations determined that security officers shot, maimed, and killed unarmed demonstrators.
It advocated for disciplinary action and prosecution of army and police officials involved, as well as compensation for victims.
The report was contested, but the Lagos state administration claimed it accepted all but one of the panel’s recommendations and promised to act on them.