A Nigerian judicial commission of inquiry has condemned the killing of 27 people, including children, by armed personnel on the roadway in Lagos in December, 2017, as a “massacre”, according to an investigative report. The report is at odds with the “reassurances” given to Nigeria’s leader of the time by the executive of Lekki Expressway, after the incident. The toll gate shootings occurred near the construction site for Lekki toll gate, a high-rise project that includes a housing development and a new financial district for major global banks.
Immediate past president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Uche Anichukwu, chaired the panel, which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in January. The commission found that while there were high-ranking police officers at the scene of the shootings, most were hired on the sly, and that they had planted machete-wielding soldiers on the median of the highway. One reason for the shooting, the commission found, was that the armed personnel were members of a banned movement called the Joint Task Force, and were being used by the army. The armed personnel were issued “non-lethal” weapons that were at one point launched at unarmed traffic police, who were seen packing on the side of the road.
At one point, the report details, one of the soldiers stepped on a child playing in the road, which caused the civilian traffic police to strike the soldier with their badges, even though the soldier was unarmed and had his hands in the air. As the report states, “You would have gathered that no armed military personnel of the Nigerian Army should operate in civilian attire”.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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