The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the leadership of the Nigerian Army and the police to produce members of their establishments involved in the alleged shooting and killing of protesting youths during last year’s #EndSARS protest.
Nigerian youth and civil society groups had on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of #ENDSARS protests, which led to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) allegedly notorious for human rights abuses, in some major cities in Nigeria.
NANS President, Sunday Asefon in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Thursday, said despite the 2020 protests which lingered for days, young Nigerians are on a daily basis facing excruciating pains in the hands of security operatives.
He added that because of the failure of the army and police to produce the killer operatives within a stipulated time “for this crime against humanity, we are determined to hit the streets to ensure that justice is delivered to our fallen heroes as we also struggle to ensure an end to police brutality and all forms of human rights abuses in our country.”
The statement read, “The National Association of Nigerian Students NANS, conscious of our historical responsibility, today joined the teeming population of Nigerian youth, to commemorate the one year of the climax of 2020, nationwide protest against police brutality in our country, named the #EndSARS Protest.
“Beyond the nationwide commemoration, characterised by street protests and processions, the NANS used the opportunity of today's ENDSARS memorial events, to review the incidences of October 20, 2020, and make specific demands from the Nigerian government, towards ensuring that we avoid a repeat of the unfortunate incident of October 20, 2020.
“Considering the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to finding a meaningful resolution to the crisis created by the agitation for an end to police brutality, coupled with much evidence gathered from our independent findings, through a series of stakeholders’ engagement today, via video footage and hospital reports, which has now confirmed that, the Nigerian Army operatives opened fire on thousands of young Nigerians who were peacefully gathered at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, an action that was followed up by subsequent assault on the injured and other protesters by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in the latter hours of same day.
“Consequent upon the above and ultimately in the spirit of ensuring justice for the several injured and murdered young Nigerians, as now confirmed by various evidence, the NANS hereby demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of every operative and officer of the Nigerian Army, the police and particularly the commanding officers of the Nigerian Army in Lagos, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and leaders of the security agencies in other parts of Nigeria, where young Nigerians were murdered on October 20, 2020.
“The NANS shall by this notice, also petition the United Nations Human Rights Council, governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, to immediately initiate a process of visa cancellation of these identified perpetrators of crime against Nigerian young people.
“We hereby issue a seven-day ultimatum to the leadership of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police force to provide everyone involved in this crime against humanity, without further delay. We are determined to hit the streets, to ensure that justice is delivered to our fallen heroes, as we also struggle to ensure an end to police brutality and all forms of human rights abuses in our country.”