Tuesday, March 28, 2023

#LekkiMassacre: ICC opens preliminary findings against Nigerian Army, other actors

The international crimes tribunal says it is proceeding with its investigation into how Nigerian soldiers quelled #EndSARS on October 20.

• November 4, 2020
Photo of Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Photo Credit: @HQNigerianArmy) Twitter

The International Criminal Court has launched preliminary findings to establish the role of Nigerian Army and other actors in the October 20 fatal shooting of protesters in Lagos.

At least nine Nigerians were killed when soldiers opened live rounds by Lekki Toll-Gate, south of the commercial capital, during a dusk operation to quell then-ongoing #EndSARS agitation against police brutality.

The Nigerian Army has denied wrongdoing, but citizens and world leaders have called for a thorough investigation of the attack, which came as protesters were singing the national anthem. Lagos authorities also denied wrongoing.

But an ICC prosecutor confirmed to the BBC on Wednesday that the international crimes tribunal has received a petition that carried claims of the massacre.

Investigators at the ICC are not trying to “assess whether the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute… are met,” the BBC reported on Wednesday.

The BBC said the ICC confirmed that the person who filed the petition had already made its details public, although Peoples Gazette has yet to identify the petitioner or specific details of their criminal complaints.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Army did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the investigation. But Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai had said last week advised soldiers not to be afraid of an ICC inquiry into the deadly Lekki operation, saying it met legal and operational criteria.

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