#EndSARS: NBA condemns military attack on unarmed protesters
• Calls for dismissal, prosecution of perpetrators
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the Tuesday killings of unarmed #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate plaza in Lagos State.
The NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata said in a statement that the present situation in the country requires dynamic leadership tactics to bring the country back to normalcy and not by unleashing the military on armless protesters.
The statement said, “The attention of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has been drawn to the dastardly shooting and killing of #ENDSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate Plaza in Lagos State by some unidentified men of the Nigerian Military on Tuesday, 20th October 2020.
“From news reports on the incident, many lives were lost in the attack while several others were injured during the melee that ensued.
“The NBA strongly condemns this act of recklessness and lawlessness by the security apparatus of the government”, the NBA boss stated in the statement.
Akpata said even if the protesters at the Lekki Tollgate Plaza were in breach of the curfew imposed by the Lagos State Government, such a misdemeanour or breach did not warrant the use of live ammunition by the Nigerian military to confront otherwise peaceful, unarmed and defenceless protesters.
The NBA called on the military high command to immediately identify and name the officers involved in the gross professional misconduct for immediate prosecution and dismissal in line with extant laws.
Akpata said the association shall immediately commence legal proceedings at all relevant fora (both locally and internationally) against the Nigerian Military and other relevant authorities, on behalf of the families of the victims, for abuse of power, disregard of rules of engagement and the infringement of the fundamental rights (including the right to life) of the affected citizens.
“Given the degenerating nature of the crisis, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (the highest decision-making body of the NBA) will be convened within the next 48 hours to review the state of the nation and take other appropriate steps to decisively deal with the situation and prevent the nation from further going adrift”, Akpata added.
The NBA, he said, is of the view that the current situation in the country calls for dynamic leadership and, as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, invites the President of Nigeria and others in authority to show uncommon leadership in saving the situation, instead of deploying troops against defenceless citizens whom they swore an oath to protect.