A general view of the Ikoyi-Lekki Toll Gate area in Lagos State on October 21, 2020, that was burnt on October 20, 2020, after security forces shot protestors a few kilometres away from there. SOPHIE BOUILLON / AFP
Buildings were torched in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos on Wednesday as authorities shut down the economic hub after the shooting of peaceful protesters by security forces caused international outrage.
At least 12 people were killed by the Nigerian army and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a deadly crackdown on demonstrations, Amnesty International said.
Peaceful protesters had gathered despite a curfew imposed to end spiralling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.
“Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45 pm (1745 GMT) and 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Tuesday, October 20, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people,” Amnesty said in a statement.
The Lagos governor at first insisted no fatalities had been recorded but later said the authorities were investigating the death of one person resulting from “blunt force trauma to the head”.
He said at least 25 others were wounded.
Demonstrator Paul Sunday who was at the scene told AFP that the men who shot at the crowd were wearing masks and had army uniforms.
“They attacked us from back and from front,” he said. “They came around 7 pm when everywhere was dark.”
Pictures and videos showing scenes of chaos in the aftermath of the shooting were widely shared on social media.
The shooting drew international condemnation, with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying reports suggested it could have been premeditated.