Global human rights group, Amnesty International has called on the government to avoid attacking and violating the rights of citizens who would converge under the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest on Saturday.
Some aggrieved Nigerians are threatening to embark on another protest following the weekend’s judgement of the Lagos Judicial panel to allow Lekki Concession Company to regain possession and reopen the Lekki tollgate.
The Lekki Toll Gate had been closed since soldiers allegedly shot at unarmed and peaceful EndSARS protesters against police brutality at the site on October 20, 2020.
The shootings generated suspicion that the LCC was a party to the event that happened that night, as the LCC had claimed that the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) was not functional at the time of the shootings.
However, the panel at its last sitting on Saturday voted (5 against 4) in favour of the reopening the toll gate.
The ruling has since generated outrage on social media, as some say it is a sign that the panel would not grant justice to the case before it.
To make their voices heard, some Nigerians have announced plans to stage a protest at the tollgate on Saturday, February 13.
Speaking in reference to the government’s response to the EndSARS protests, the statement by Amnesty International asked the government to respect and safeguard citizen’s right to protest.
The group tweeted, “Amnesty international is calling on all Nigerian authorities to demonstrate commitment to protect the right to peaceful protest.
“Previous attempts by security agents to repress peaceful protests have led to human rights violations and abuses.
“The Nigerian govt. must ensure that when protesters exercise their right to freedom of assembly, it must be without fear of harassment or attacks by hoodlums or others opposed to the protests. Security operatives must refrain from excessive use of force on protesters.”
The statement by Amnesty International is off the back of threats made by the government bodies that it may disrupt the planned protest.
Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed had on Thursday claimed that the ”Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” organisers are threatening that ”Lagos will burn” again.
Mr Mohammed added that based on the intelligence at the disposal of the Federal Government, some Nigerian activists have linked up with others outside Nigeria, including subversive elements, with a view to destabilizing the country. We cannot and must not allow this to happen.
Also, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police issued a stern warning to various groups planning to embark on protests at the Lekki Toll Plaza advising them to shelve the plan.
Odumosu said that the police command would rise in the protection of law-abiding residents from any form of the violence.