The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has called for a transparent and independent probe of the 20th of October Lekki tollgate shootings, where military operatives opened live ammunition on peaceful protesters.
PANDEF in a statement issued on Tuesday by its spokesman, Ken Robinson called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take responsibility for the horrible incident.
The Niger Delta group also called on Buhari to order the immediate commencement of actions that would bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
“Whoever ordered the barbaric action, and those who carried it out, should be identified and made to face the consequences. The government must ensure that justice is served. While the Federal Government had said it would investigate the incident, the seemingly delay is unbecoming,” PANDEF said.
The forum maintained that investigations into the incident should not be undertaken by the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to probe police brutality and related extrajudicial killings.
“Lekki shooting investigation should be committed to another panel that should be set up by the Federal Government and should be comprised of men and women of impeccable character, drawn from relevant strata of the society, including the military, civil society, and representatives of the #EndSARS protesters,” it said.
“The ramifications of the Lekki Tollgate incident go beyond portraying Nigeria to the world in a bad light; it is a threat to the nation’s democracy if it is true that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had no foreknowledge of the incident.
“It raises further questions on the viability of the nation’s security architecture and its configuration vis-a-vis the need for a holistic overhaul.
“PANDEF has backed the call by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria for a thorough investigation into the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, on Tuesday, last week.
“We are supporting the Catholic Bishops’ resolution, and similar expressions by patriotic individuals and groups in the country, as well as, the International Community, for an immediate and transparent probe of the incident, whereby persons in Army uniform indiscriminately shot at young Nigerians that were peacefully protesting against police brutality.