International Criminal Court Commences Investigation Into Lekki Shooting

Lekki Candle Night

The International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague will be conducting a preliminary examination into the recent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria and the shooting of unarmed, peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll on October 20, 2020.

The office of the ICC prosecutor told the BBC that it has received information on alleged crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

The Lekki shooting of protesters calling for police reforms sparked national and international outrage, with some sections of civil society alleging that federal and state governments have been keen on a grand cover-up of what transpired on the night.

The ICC examination will “assess whether the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute are met,” the statement reads.

51 civilians, 11 police officers and seven soldiers were killed during the protests that lasted for two weeks, according to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rights group Amnesty International said security forces opened fire on protesters, killing and injuring a number of people. The police, the army and the government have rejected Amnesty’s allegation.

The ICC added it would make findings of the preliminary investigation public.

The Lagos state government has set up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the incident and probe decades of alleged extra-judicial killings and excessive use of force by police personnel.

There are also reports that the government has placed some young persons who partook in the protests on no-fly lists, with their passports reportedly confiscated at airport terminals.

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