Amnesty International Have Been Perforated By External Forces – Omotoso

Gbenga Omotoso, a former commissioner for information in Lagos State has claimed that the investigation by Amnesty International into the alleged deaths of 103 people connected to the ENDSARS protest was biased.

Omotoso stated this Tuesday, during his appearance on Arise Television. He said, “In this matter, Amnesty International is not the Amnesty International that I used to know. They are not objective. They are not backing whatever they are saying with any scientific evidence or reasoning. 

“Amnesty International itself – the one I used to know – could do this investigation and come out with the truth. But, I suspect that they have been perforated by external forces. 

“So Amnesty International can just sit down in its office and begin to issue a statement without taking the step to find out the truth,” he said. 

Recall that on Monday, Amnesty International Nigeria called for a transparent coroner’s inquest into the deaths of 103 EndSARS protesters, for whom the Lagos State Government is preparing a mass burial, and urged that the plans be suspended.

This comes in response to the discovery of an allegedly leaked memo addressed to the Lagos State Ministry of Health, which claimed that the State Government had sanctioned N61,285,000 for the mass burial of 103 people who had been identified as 2020 EndSARS victims.

The document, which was published on social media on Sunday morning and was dated July 19, 2023, detailed the procedures for receiving monies after the governor’s assent. Outrage was caused.

However, the Lagos State Government insisted that the deceased were not involved in the contentious Lekki Tollgate incident.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, while confirming the letter, insisted that the victims were from incidents of violence that occurred in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests.

Meanwhile, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi who spoke in a statement on Monday, said, “The Nigerian authorities must urgently halt their plans to carry out a secret mass burial of #EndSARS victims and instead carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the killings and ensure that those suspected to be responsible are brought to justice in fair trials.”

It continued by stating that the 103 victims of #EndSARS must also have open coroner inquests and autopsies performed and that the results of these procedures, as well as the details of their deaths, must be made public.

Sanusi stated, “It is appalling that the Lagos state government has not even mentioned that it has held the bodies of 103 #EndSARS victims in its custody since October 2020.

“All those detained because of their role in the #EndSARS protests must be immediately released. The Nigerian authorities must also ensure that victims and their families are provided with access to justice and effective remedies, including adequate compensation.”

It noted that it had been monitoring developments across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, 2020.

“In October 2020, an on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International confirmed that Nigerian security forces opened fire on thousands of peaceful protesters, who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality, killing at least 12 protesters at Lekki toll gate and in Alausa,” director Sanusi said.

“Amnesty International was able to establish that pro-government supporters instigated violence at many of the demonstrations, providing cover for the police to use lethal force against peaceful protesters.

“On 16 November 2020, a Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate the Lekki toll gate killings submitted its report, which indicted the military and the police for killing unarmed protesters, who were sitting on the floor and waving Nigerian flags and singing.”

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