By Edith Nwapi
Abuja, Oct. 21, 2020 The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the shooting and killing of some protesters at Lekki in Lagos on Tuesday.
NBA’s President, Olumide Akpata Akpata, condemned the act in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Akpata said that the attention of the association was drawn to the “dastardly shooting and killing of #ENDSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos State’’ by the Nigerian Army.
“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 army, based on reports available to us, it appears to have been a carefully calculated and premeditated attack.
“Even if the protesters at the Lekki Toll 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.
“To be clear, the events of today (Tuesday) are events that we should never see or consider as normal in any democracy,’’ he stated.
Akpata called on the military high command to immediately identify and name the officers involved in the shooting “for immediate prosecution and dismissal in line with extant laws’’.
“The NBA 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 right to life) of the affected citizens,’’ he said.
Akpata said that following the degenerating nature of the crisis, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the association would be convened within the next 48 hours.
According to him, this is 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.
“The NBA believes 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.’’
He said showing uncommon leadership now was preferable to “deploying troops against defenseless citizens whom they swore an oath to protect’’.