EndSARS panel report: Prosecution of rights abusers should be immediate, says HRW

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Human Rights Watch has called for the immediate prosecution of those found culpable in the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020.

The international rights group said the report of the Lekki panel corroborated its findings that soldiers shot at protesters at the toll gate during the EndSARS protests against police brutality last year.

In a statement on Friday titled, ‘Nigeria: Officials Indicted in Abuses of Protesters’, the group said that the findings of the Lekki panel that the army and police officers shot, injured, and killed unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos confirmed Human Rights Watch findings which the panel said some persons tried to cover up.

“The panel confirmed the crackdown on protesters who were standing up against the ruthlessness of the Nigerian police force,” said Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch, Anietie Ewang.

“The authorities should stop denying the truth and focus instead on correcting their wrongs by officially releasing the report and acting upon its findings,” the official added.

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“While the findings and recommendations of the panel are a positive step toward justice, they will be ineffective without immediate action from relevant authorities.

“The security forces with the support of the Federal and Lagos State authorities should immediately begin internal disciplinary measures to prosecute and hold abusers to account,” Ewang added.