Nigerian military offered to deploy in Lagos if needed - governor

Nigerian military offered to deploy in Lagos if needed - governor

Human rights organization Amnesty International in Nigeria said in a statement it had "received credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos". Four witnesses told Reuters soldiers had fired bullets there and at least two people had been shot.

Demonstrators have taken part in daily protests across the country for almost two weeks over widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a police unit know as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Human Rights Watch also corroborated reports that the Nigerian army had opened fire on protesters Tuesday in "a shooting spree". Especially in Lekki, where the gatherings have always been peaceful. The Nigeria military has denied shooting at the protesters.

"Looters and arsonists are now taking over what started as decent protest marches".

"The soldiers clearly had an intention, to kill without worrying about the consequences", accuses Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International in Nigeria.

Instead he blamed those who had "hijacked and misdirected" weeks of protests against police brutality for bloodshed and warned against "undermining national security".

Calls have grown for the Nigerian government to end the violence and investigate Tuesday's events, which have caused concern internationally.

The US said it welcomed an "immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces".

He said that 25 wounded people are now being treated in three hospitals in the city, confirming that he visited them in the morning.

The Caucus also advised the president to immediately order the arrest and prosecution of officers involved in the Lekki killing and urgently rejig the nation's security architecture through reforms and appointment of more competent service chiefs, to handle the myriad of security challenges confronting the nation.

The protests, organized via social media, have won the support of celebrities overseas including Nigerian Afrobeat star Wizkid and British-Nigerian actor John Boyega. However, according to the state governor, about 30 people had been injured and none had been killed.

Nigeria's army has dismissed as "fake news" reports that soldiers opened fire on demonstrators.

But in some neighborhoods, violence broke out between the police and young people who refused to respect this curfew.

A major Nigerian TV station with links to a ruling party politician was also torched, while the palace of the most senior traditional leader in Lagos was ransacked.

According to local media, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a coalition of over 70 civil society organizations, has called on the National Assembly leadership to urgently summon President Muhammadu Buhari and the inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, to explain the circumstances that led to widespread killings in the country. "Old and incompetent! (...) Resign", tweeted the Nigerian music star Wizkid.

He called on the United States presidential candidate, Joe Biden, in a message posted on his website, "President Buhari and the Nigerian military to stop the violent suppression of demonstrators in Nigeria, which has so far resulted in many deaths".

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