LAGOS – Amnesty International said late Tuesday there was “credible but disturbing evidence” that security forces in the megacity of Lagos had fatally shot protesters who were demonstrating against police brutality despite a new curfew going into effect.
The Lagos state commissioner for information, Gbenga Omotoso, said in a statement Tuesday night only that “there have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza following the 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos."
“The state government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he said.
Video shown on Nigeria's Channels Television appeared to capture audio of live rounds being fired at the scene.
“While we continue to investigate the killings, Amnesty International wishes to remind the authorities that under international law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury,” Amnesty tweeted.
The development came just hours after Lagos state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu warned on Twitter that the growing protests against police brutality in Nigeria had “degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.”
A police statement also had warned that security forces would now “exercise the full powers of the law to prevent any further attempt on lives and property of citizens.”
The reports of fatal shootings in Lekki come after two chaotic weeks of mounting protests leading to more widespread social unrest. On Tuesday, authorities said nearly 2,000 inmates had broken out of jail after crowds attacked two correctional facilities a day earlier.