OYOGist.com has learned that Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff has asked Nigerian soldiers not to be afraid of the International Criminal Court. (ICC) war crimes charges because of the Lekki shootings.
The COAS stated this in a meeting held at the Nigerian Army headquarters, Abuja for Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding, and Field Commanders on Monday.
Buratai, who was the Army chief when over 1000 Shiites were massacred at Zaria in 2015, disclosed this through a transcript circulated at the meeting by Col. Sagir Musa, who is the Army spokesman. He explained that the critics are agents of destabilisation as their actions were constitutional and within their legitimate roles of maintaining law and order in aid of civil authorities and other security agencies.
This assurance was necessary following the acknowledgement of the ICC through one of its top prosecutors, Fatou Bensouda of receiving complaints by some Nigerians and the wide condemnation of the shootings around the world by top voices like Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump amongst others.
Recall that, on the night of 20 October 2020, at about 6:50 p.m, Nigerian time, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces opened fire at peaceful End SARS protesters, who were holding the Nigerian flag and singing the national anthem at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria for disobeying curfew orders of the State government.
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari neither condemned the killings nor sympathised with the victims in a national broadcast he did two days after the incident which the Nigerian Defence Headquarters’ Director of Information, Maj. Gen. John Eneche has earlier dismissed the video footages of the shooting as photoshopped.