Lawyers Condemn Security Agencies’ Use Of Excessive Force
Posted: 27/Oct/2020

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) has condemned the alleged use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies against peaceful protesters at Lekki on October 20.

It urged the Federal Government to urgently commence comprehensive investigation of the shootings which injured many and allegedly claimed several lives, adding that the culprits must be brought to book.

In a statement, PALU President Emeka Obegolu said: “PALU invites the government of Nigeria to note the 1990 United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials which provides that In the dispersal of assemblies that are unlawful but non-violent, law enforcement officials shall avoid the use of force or, where that is not practicable, shall restrict such force to the minimum extent necessary.

“PALU notes that Nigeria is a state party to the 1966 international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 21, which governs the right of peaceful assembly. It provides that the right of peaceful assembly shall be recognised….”

PALU called on the government to guarantee the security of lives and properties of the citizens and residents of Nigeria, including their fundamental human rights as provided for under the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria and the African Charter on Human and Peoples rights.

It demanded that the government should respect and protect the rights of her citizens to peacefully protest against perceived wrongful and oppressive acts of agencies of government and security agencies.

Obegolu added: “Commence immediate and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos state by soldiers with a view to bringing the identified culprits to book.

“Investigate the intimidations and violent attacks on peaceful protesters in different parts of the country, including Abuja, Lagos and Kano states by persons alleged to be sponsored thugs, with a view to unmasking the sponsors and bringing the perpetrators to book.

“Commence a comprehensive census of all the victims of rights violations during the period while the protests lasted and work with national civil society organizations, led by the Nigerian Bar Association to propose adequate compensations and immediate payment to the victims.”

The association further commended the Protesters and their leadership “for keeping the protest largely peaceful and urged Nigerians to resist the temptation to engage in violent protests or confrontation with security agencies.