Lekki shooting: Why families of victims can’t speak up – Falana

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Femi Falana

Foremost human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN says families of victims of last Tuesday’s shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos are afraid to speak up for fear of victimisation.

Falana spoke in a global virtual meeting hosted by Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

He said that a similar scenario played out in December 2015 when soldiers killed 347 Shiites in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He said the Nigerian Army has a history of lying, urging the international community not to believe its explanation about the Lekki incident.

The Army initially denied deploying soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the date of the incident.

However, it admitted in a Tuesday statement that soldiers were at the scene but did not shoot at protesters.

Falana said, “Nobody should believe the military because it has a history of lies, fraud and deception.

“Just in December 2015, the same Chief of Army Staff, General (Tukur) Buratai claimed that there was a traffic jam in Zaria and the big man wanted to move and because of that traffic, he got soldiers from the first division in Kaduna to mow down Shiites.

“And what was the explanation? That the Shiites wanted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff…and about six or seven persons died.

“But in the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government, we were told that indeed 347 Nigerians were killed by the military. No autopsy, no postmortem, nothing was done. Their bodies were taken away in the dead of the night and given a mass burial.

Read Also: “Police, Army Killed Protesters” – Amnesty Int’l Releases Investigative Timeline

“And people will ask you, if anybody lost his child in Lekki, why have they not come up? Who has come up in the case of Zaria? Because you must understand the environment under which we operate.

“By the way, some of those injured in Lekki had to forcefully discharge themselves because they were told in the hospital that they were going to be held liable for the riot in town. And so, everybody had to move.

“But as of today, the governor of Lagos State has admitted that two people lost their lives. The circumstances would have to be explained later but those two were among those shot by the soldiers.”

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria added that it was against Nigerian laws for soldiers to be enforcing curfew.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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