Gbenga Omotoso, a former commissioner for information in the state of Lagos, claimed the Amnesty International investigation into the reported deaths of 103 people connected to the ENDSARS protest was biased.
In an interview with Arise Television on Tuesday, Omotoso made this claim.
“Amnesty International is not the Amnesty International I used to know,” he declared. They lack objectivity. They don’t provide any scientific facts or logic to support their claims.
The Amnesty International I used to know could do this inquiry and reveal the truth. However, I believe that other forces were responsible for the perforations.
So Amnesty International won’t have to go through the effort of discovering the truth, he added, it can simply sit down in its office and start issuing statements.
Recall that on Monday, Amnesty International Nigeria called for the suspension of the Lagos State Government’s plans to mass-bury 103 dead EndSARS protestors in favor of a transparent coroner’s inquest.
This comes after a purportedly leaked email written to the Lagos State Ministry of Health surfaced, purportedly revealing that the State Government had sanctioned N61,285,000 for the mass burial of 103 people who had been recognized as 2020 EndSARS victims.
The letter, which was discovered on social media on Sunday morning and is dated July 19, 2023, details the procedures for receiving payments after the governor has given his consent.
The disputed Lekki Tollgate shooting was not the cause of the victims to be buried, according to the Lagos State Government.
While Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, confirmed the letter, he emphasized that the victims were from violent episodes that happened after the EndSARS marches.
Isa Sanusi, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, commented on the matter in a statement released on Monday. He said that the Nigerian government “must urgently cease 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 was also said that the 103 victims of #EndSARS must have open coroner inquests and autopsies, and their identities and the circumstances surrounding their deaths must be made public by the government.
It is shocking, according to Sanusi, that the Lagos state administration has kept the remains of 103 #EndSARS victims in its possession since October 2020 without even mentioning it.
“All individuals who were imprisoned as a result of their participation in the #EndSARS protests must be freed right away. Additionally, the Nigerian government must guarantee that victims and their families have access to justice and efficient remedies, including fair compensation.
It stated that since the #EndSARS protests started on October 8, 2020, it has been keeping an eye on happenings throughout Nigeria.
Director Sanusi stated that an investigation conducted by Amnesty International on the ground in October 2020 “confirmed that Nigerian security forces opened fire on thousands of peaceful protesters peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality, killing at least 12 protesters at Lekki toll gate and in Alausa.”
“Amnesty International was able to prove that government supporters provoked violence at several of the protests, giving the police justification to use deadly force against nonviolent protestors.
A Judicial Panel of Inquiry established to look into the Lekki toll gate killings “submitted its report on November 16, 2020, indicting the military and the police for killing unarmed protesters who were sitting on the ground and singing and waving Nigerian flags.”