Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda has called for the intervention of the international Criminal court to investigate the ‘pre-meditated act of mass murder’ of peaceful protesters at Lekki toll plaza.
Edetaen Ojo in an exclusive interview with BONews Service also noted that without the intervention of the international community, either at the African Union or United Nations’ level, the perpetrators might not be prosecuted.
“Impunity has been a hallmark of this government on many levels and, unfortunately, for other governments before it.
“While I cannot say precisely who gave the instructions and who carried out the execution of the order, many factors suggest to me that some people in Government, at least, are complicit.
“In a situation like this, there can be no credibility in or trust for any arrangement by the Nigerian Government to investigate a situation of gross human rights in which it is believed to be complicit.
“I am convinced that if the Government truly wants to get to the bottom of the issue, it should request the international community, either at the African Union level or at the level of the United Nations to conduct an independent international investigation into the incident and prosecute the perpetrators.
“Speaking for myself, that is the only way I can be reassured that any investigation would not result in impunity for the perpetrators,” he explained.
Describing what he termed ‘crime against humanity’, Ojo lamented that, “it is difficult to understand how any human being could execute or be part of the execution of such pre-meditated act of mass murder, whether acting out of his or her own free will or carrying out the instructions or orders of a superior authority.
“I say pre-meditated because the manner in which eye witnesses described the incident, including barricading the place so that people could not escape easily, the disconnection of the CCTV cameras and cutting off the power supply, all indicated that it was carefully planned and executed.
“Only people who are completely heartless, even inhuman, could have carried out such an act,” he added.
He also noted that it is worrisome that October 21st which is the African Human Rights Day is the day that Nigerians are ‘wailing’ over the gross abuse and violations of their human rights and freedom.
“Nigeria has never been reputed for its respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms but this gruesome murder of so many of our youths now puts Nigeria on a completely different level of perpetrating human rights atrocities and it is a reputation that I would expect all Nigerians, including those in authority, to be ashamed of and willing to do everything legitimate to distance themselves from,” he added.