Amnesty Int’l Is Simply Denigrating Nigeria- Lai Mohammed

Yemisi Izuora

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has deprecated what he observed as persistent denigration of present administration and its organs, by Amnesty International.

The Minister has therefore accused the Organization of a deliberate plot to destabilise the country with baseless allegations against the administration and its military.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the accusation on Friday, February 6, in Lagos; when he appeared on a TV Continental programme, “This Morning’’.

Mohammed was reacting to a recent report by AI, a global movement; on campaign to end abuses of human rights; on a purported crackdown and killings of EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, in October 2020.

The Organization had accused the government of a cover-up in the handling of the case; and called for the arrest and prosecution of the country’s former Service Chiefs in the International Criminal Court, (ICC) for alleged human rights violation.

Speaking at the programme, Mohammed said AI, like most other groups, has refused to proffer evidence; that people were shot dead at the Lekki Toll Gate on the day of the incident.

“We challenge Amnesty International, if it has any proof, to please come forward with such names; addresses; and convincing evidence that such people were killed at the toll gate.

“The truth of the matter is that a coterie of NGO, led by Amnesty International, has been dispensing fake news about what transpired at the toll gate.”

The minister said the best and most transparent way to prove that lives were lost at the toll gate was by appearing before the Panel of Enquiry set up by the Lagos State Government.

Mohammed said the panel had invited anybody who has been victims of EndSARS brutality; or anyone whose family has also been a victim of extrajudicial killing to come forward.

“More than 100 days after, we are yet to see anybody come out to say, my son, my daughter or my ward went to the toll gate plaza to protest and has not come back.

“Amnesty International has no respect for our judicial system. If they do, they would have gone to testify; rather than churning out fake reports and arriving at baseless conclusion; even before the panel has commenced its job,’’ he said.

The Minister also accused the organisation of double standard in its assessment of human rights violations.

He said Amnesty International had two sets of laws – one for Nigeria as well as other developing countries; and the other for the developed part of the world.

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