The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, a group led by Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has said that the Nigerian Government should be held responsible for the attack on #ENDSARS protesters in Lagos.
Falana also condemned the hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives by some state governments, which led to increase in hunger-rate in the country, thereby resulting in the looting of state warehouses.
Falana said, “though ASCAB does not support looting regardless of the status of the perpetrators, rich or poor, the real looters are the public officers who have been implicated in secretly warehousing COVID-19 palliatives, hoping and praying that they would never be discovered”.
Condemning the Lekki attack, which he described as “reprehensible, abominable, unacceptable and heinous killing in cold blood”, the senior lawyer berated the denial of involvement of soldiers in the murderous attack of unarmed protesters coupled with the mismanagement of information surrounding the attack.
He added that this led to hoodlums taking advantage of the unrest to destroy and loot properties in the state.
Falana said, “ASCAB holds the Federal Government fully responsible for the killing of the unarmed peaceful protesters to the extent that only the President has the constitutional power to invite the armed forces in aid of civil authorities in the event of an insurrection.
“The peaceful protest acknowledged to be peaceful cannot be equated to an insurrection.
“Under the military junta the security agencies recruited cultists to attack students who protested peacefully.
“In like manner, the security agencies engaged the services of sponsored thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Lagos and Abuja for about 12 days.
“It is such state sponsored thuggery that boomeranged as boys and girls who have been used and dumped by politicians turned the peaceful protests to a conflagration that engulfed the nation.”
Falana added that the Lagos State Government should in addition to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry direct the Coroner to conduct an inquest into the circumstances surrounding the unnatural death of protesters.
Falana stated that ASCAB shall “establish an Independent National Citizen’s Panel of Inquiry that will comprise of credible and identified organisations of the youth that took part in the #Endsars protest movement, including the Feminist Coalition, among others.”
He also added that the group shall comprise of credible and tested civil society organisations and shall request and receive petitions from relatives of fallen heroes and other aggrieved persons whose fundamental rights had been abused in relation to the #EndSARS protest movement.
Falana also said the panel shall recommend appropriate citizen’s monuments to honour and immortalise the fallen heroes and heroines of the #EndSARS movement.
He pleaded that citizens should not repay state terrorism by which the lives of unarmed peaceful protesters have been terminated with individual terrorism.