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ICC begins probe on Lekki shooting, assures transparency

By News Desk

Following controversies that had continued to trail military attack on EndSARS protesters in Lekki axis of Lagos, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was said to have commenced preliminary investigation into the attack on youths protesting against police brutality and extra-judicial killing in Nigeria.

ICC said that examination on the issue forwarded by Nigerians had commenced in order to ascertain if the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute were met.

The court had earlier disclosed that it received information on alleged crimes committed by the Federal and State Governments in the country during the protest across the country.

ICC, in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday, said that the investigation was not limited to the military attack on protesters in Lekki axis of Lagos, rather, the probe would be on the entire actions against the demonstrators.

The court, while assuring Nigerians that preliminary examination would be made public, stated that it had been paying close attention to developments in the country.

Its chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said: “My office has been closely following the events around the current protests in Nigeria and the reaction of Nigeria’s law enforcement and security agencies”.

“Any loss of life or injury is concerning. We have received information alleging crimes and are keeping a close eye on developments, in case violence escalates and any indications arise on that Rome Statute crimes may have been committed,” she added.

For over 12 days, crowds of peaceful protesters gathered in streets in major towns of the country and across the globe to demonstrate against police brutality. This led to a crackdown.

Similarly, a Rights group, Amnesty International in a report said security forces opened fire on protesters, killing and injuring a number of people. Both the police, army and the government have rejected this allegation.

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