The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, rejected the reports of the human rights group, Amnesty International for their alleged use of force by the police during the nationwide #EndSARS protests against police brutality, which also pegs police officers as responsible for the Lekki shootings. Following the days of the #LekkiMassacare, numerous videos surfaced on social media showing multiple Nigerians being armed, shot at and killed by Nigerian Police.
According to Pulse NG, mostly peaceful protests were marked by violence from thugs, who tried to hijack the demonstrations and police officers who aggressively pushed back against protesters. Jimoh Isiaq, killed in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, and at least 14 other protesters were believed to have been killed by police officers in just over a week of the protests.
In a statement issued by him and signed by the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, he said; “During the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters. Even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.”
Outrightly denying the reports by Amnesty International, he called their findings “untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence”.
He however made a case for police officers and stations who suffered some casualties in the carnage that ensued when allegedly state-sponsored hoodlums were let loose, saying that 22 policemen were killed while some are being hospitalized in critical conditions.
Two police officers were also reported to have been killed in Delta and Lagos State as a result of the protests before an escalation of violence last week resorted to attacks on police officers and police formations by thugs who carried out mostly retaliatory attacks.