Nigerian skitmaker, Adebowale Adedeyo, popularly known as Mr. Macaroni, alongside fellow Nigerians, came together at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos on Friday to mark the third anniversary of the tragic shootings that occurred during the #EndSARS protest on October 20, 2020.
The event unfolded against the backdrop of a significant police presence, with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, and other senior police officers stationed at the Lekki tollgate.
The State Police Command had issued a stern warning against any form of assembly at the location.
Nonetheless, determined protesters turned out in large numbers to commemorate the third anniversary of the #EndSARS movement, which began as a public outcry against police brutality, extrajudicial killings, extortion, and abuse of power, particularly by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Initially a peaceful demonstration, the protests eventually led to the dissolution of SARS by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
However, the situation took a violent turn as opportunistic hoodlums set fire to police stations and public facilities and launched attacks on both law enforcement officers and civilians.
The climax of the protest occurred on October 20, when Nigerian Army personnel opened fire on the demonstrators, resulting in casualties and fatalities among the predominantly youthful protesters.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Amnesty International disclosed in a statement on its website that fifteen protesters arrested during the #EndSARS protests are still being held without trial at the Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre and Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre in Lagos.
The organization accused the authorities of levying unfounded charges, including theft, arson, unlawful firearms possession, and murder against many of the protesters.
Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, commented, “Our investigation shows that the Nigerian authorities’ utter disdain for human rights.
Three years in detention without trial is a travesty of justice. This shows the authorities’ contempt for due process of law. The protesters must be immediately and unconditionally released.”