Femi Falana, Chairman of Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB), said his group has identified the barracks where the soldiers who opened fire at the #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate were deployed from.
Falana, a human rights activist and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), stated this in an interview on Monday.
He, however, did not disclose the name of the barracks.
“We have already identified the barracks where the soldiers left for Lekki, we have already identified the barracks,” Falana said on Arise News.
The President was likely to have been told soldiers were ordered so I want to believe that’s why it was not addressed. They said it was a rumour but I think the facts are emerging now, that indeed soldiers went to Lekki, indeed they fired at protesters and indeed some of the protesters at least two have been officially acknowledged to have died from gunshot wounds.”
The senior lawyer insisted that soldiers were deployed to the toll gate and that they opened fire on unarmed protesters.
He also blasted the Federal Government for its purported lack of respect for the rule of law and citizens’ rights to protest.
He said: “The Nigerian government has no respect for the rule of law and has ensured they stave off all forms of protests in the country.
“Every designated venue for protest in the country have been fenced by the government to prevent demonstrations.
“In Lagos, the Gani Fawehinmin Square has been fenced while the Unity Fountain in Abuja has also been fenced, and the same government has said citizens have the right to protest.”
In the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, various public and private properties have been burnt and looted, while COVID-19 palliatives stored in warehouses in various states of the federation have been illegally taken.
Falana insisted that the government must pay compensation to all business owners affected by the looting, as well as to families of victims who died.
According to him, government failed in its core responsibility of guaranteeing the properties of the business owners.
He said: “While I sympathise with those who have lost goods, while I sympathise with families that have lost their loved ones, we must make a case out of what has happened.
“I am talking about the development of our laws. Those who have lost goods, those who have lost properties that were not insured, should put sentiments apart, don’t say because the government in Abuja is our party, no, the law has left that stage.
“Every Nigerian is entitled to protection of his or her life and property. Once through negligence, through lack of proper policing, you lose your property, the government must pay. I am not talking about humanitarian assistance. As a matter of law, if anybody dies in the process, the family members have rights to make a claim and we have cases where this has been decided by our courts.
“So, let nobody in Abuja say these properties in Abuja were destroyed by hoodlums, it will never happen again. No; you have a duty to compensate those who have lost their properties, you have a duty to compensate those who have lost their breadwinners and potential breadwinners so that next time, the government will have to take measures to prevent this kind of unfortunate incidents.”