The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has supported calls by Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria for a thorough investigation into the shootings of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate by operatives of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday, October 20.
“We are supporting the Catholic Bishops’ resolution, and similar expressions by patriotic individuals and groups in the country, as well as, the International Community, for an immediate and transparent probe of the incident, whereby persons in Army uniform indiscriminately shot at young Nigerians that were peacefully protesting against police brutality,” the Forum said.
Ken Robinson, PANDEF’s spokesperson, in a statement on Wednesday also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to take full responsibility and bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
The Niger Delta Forum said the ramifications of the Lekki Tollgate incident go beyond portraying Nigeria to the world in a bad light saying that it as a threat to the nation’s democracy if it was true that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had no foreknowledge of the incident.
“It raises further questions on the viability of the nation’s security architecture and its configuration vis-a-vis the need for a holistic overhaul,” it said.
“PANDEF has backed the call by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria for a thorough investigation into the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, on Tuesday, last week.”
It argued that “Whoever ordered the barbaric action, and those who carried it out, should be identified and made to face the consequences.”
While stressing that the government must ensure that justice is served, PANDEF said the seeming delay by the Federal Government to investigate was unbecoming.
It called for an independent probe and investigation of the incident as against the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to probe police brutality and related extrajudicial killings.
“Lekki shooting investigation should be committed to another panel that should be set up by the Federal Government and should be comprised of men and women of impeccable character, drawn from relevant strata of the society, including the military, civil society, and representatives of the #EndSARS protesters.”