The International Criminal Court (ICC) has spoken on the Tuesday shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, by soldiers.
The shooting has attracted global outrage against the Nigerian authorities. The number of deaths from the incident is yet to be ascertained.
“My office has been closely following the events around the current protests in Nigeria and the reaction of Nigeria’s law enforcement and security agencies,” the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday by the ICC (@IntlCrimCourt).
“Any loss of life or injury is concerning. We have received information alleging crimes and are keeping a close eye on developments, in case violence escalates and any indications arise on that Rome Statute crimes may have been committed,” she added, while calling for restraint.
Similarly, Toronto based Social Crusader and President One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor has condemned the attacks demanding an end to police brutality and all related abuses nationwide.
According to Eholor, the peaceful protest is fast yielding results with the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and setting up a judicial panel of enquiry by state governments.
He maintained that the protests were legitimate, and young people who ignited the movement have a right to express their grievances using the weapon of protest.
Eholor, in a statement endorsed by him urged the government to protect the peaceful protesters instead of attacking them.
The leader of One Love Foundation noted that the protest is an affirmation of the readiness of the youths to resist bad governance in all its ramifications.
“This protest is the result of accumulated anger of the Nigerian youths over decades of failure in the delivery of basic social services, unemployment, systemic corruption, impunity of political office by those in powers and disobedience to the rule of law which has precipitated distrust and lack of confidence in the state and its institutions.”
According to the Social Crusader, These frustrations are visible in faces and attitudes of the Nigerian youth who have no job nor shelter, good hospitals nor schools, good road nor electricity.
“ I affirm the validity of the protests and the grievances driving the mobilization and organization of popular anger. Police brutality in particular, and the brutality of security, armed forces, and law enforcement agents towards citizens, in general, is a fact and a reality that cannot be contradicted.”
Eholor also reaffirmed the readiness of One Love Foundation to drive the message of good governance and reorientation of the Nigerian youths. He further urged the federal government to reduce the cost of governance and increase the salaries of men of the Nigeria Police Force. He noted that poor welfare of the officers were the resultant attacks the masses were getting from them.
“One Love Foundation as a group is ready to assist the government in reorienting the masses about patriotism especially in having confidence of the Nigerian State. A lot of people believe that the nation is drifting to a failed state but if the government assure us of their readiness to invest in youths and attend to their request, we are capable of engaging them.”
“I have said it severally that we cannot police Nigeria without proper funding and motivation. The government should increase the salaries of the police for effective service delivery. You cannot be paying an Officer less than $200 and expect the person to perform magic.”