Nigeria may face arms embargo over killing of #EndSARS protesters

The Nigerian government may face an Arms Embargo from the United States Government following the killing of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos by Military Personnel in October last year.

A Panel setup by the Lagos state Government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting disclosed in its final report on Tuesday that indeed protesters were shot dead by security agents.

The report also revealed that there was a calculated attempt to cover up the killings. However, the country now risks a total arms embargo following the indictment of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters.

The 309-page report stated revealed that 9 people were killed with several others injured as soldiers opened fire on the protesters with live ammunition.

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The panel also disclosed that it unravelled the fact that after the personnel of the Nigerian Army exited the scene, the Nigeria Police Force followed up with the killing of the protesters, shooting directly at those fleeing, who ran into shanties and the lagoon.

The United States, the United Nations, the United Kingdom and Amnesty International have called on the Nigerian government to ensure that the panel’s report is handled transparently.

According to Punch, the Nigerian military and its current use of arms are subject to the Leahy vetting, an American rights law that prohibits the United States government from providing military assistance to foreign security force units that violate human rights with impunity.

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An arms embargo had earlier been placed on Nigeria, which prevented the country from effectively pursuing the war against terror during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

It was lifted during the administration of Donald Trump to facilitate the sale of Military jets to Nigeria.

The US also warned that the arms and the soldiers being trained would be subject to Leahy vetting, meaning that military assistance could be discontinued if there is a violation of human rights.

It can be recalled that Reuters reported that the United States Congress had initiated plans to impose an arms embargo on Nigeria.

 

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Doris Israel Ijeoma

Doris Israel Ijeoma is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.

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