The United States says the death toll during the October 20, 2020 incident in Lagos State where protesters clashed with troops is inaccurate.
After the melee where soldiers open live rounds on the peaceful demonstrators demanding extensive police reforms, social media video clips showed many Nigerians who sustained various degrees of injuries, with the whereabouts of some participants still unknown, according to interviewed family relations.
While Amnesty International documented 12 fatalities, Cable News Network (CNN) after its investigation reported that only one person was killed on the said day but this was after it previously said 38 were killed.
The federal government known to falsify fatalities of incidents rejected the two reports, describing the attack on protesters as a massacre without bodies.
In a report tagged ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria,’ the United States’ Department of State shot down death toll reportedly arising from the incident.
“On October 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” the report released yesterday partly read. “Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end.
“Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organization was able to verify the claim. The government reported two deaths connected to the event.
“One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma. A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds.
“The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate. At year’s end the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution continued to hear testimony and investigate the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate,” it added.