Nigeria rejects report linking military killings to toll gate protesters

Written by By Staff Writer, CNN

The Nigerian government has dismissed a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the fatal shooting of 13 people at a toll gate on Lekki Peninsula in Lagos state earlier this year.

In a statement Friday, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said the UN report had been “abhorrently distorted and otherwise distorted.”

“We advise the Human Rights Council to urgently investigate this case which is being used to blackmail Nigeria,” he said.

A woman holds a picture of her son who was killed by soldiers during a protest at the toll gates of Lekki, Nigeria. CNN/Vincent Hanna

The statement came after the UN’s Rights Council said that some residents of Lekki, a neighborhood on the southwestern shore of the Lagos island of Lekki, were killed in March after soldiers opened fire on them.

“At least 13 people were killed as a result of live bullets fired by soldiers operating from the three toll gates,” the UN statement said.

The statement claimed that the toll gates at Lekki were closed after people living in the area started blocking access because they could not afford the hundreds of dollars charged for the use of the gates.

Residents of the area condemned the shooting of the 13 and called for accountability.

President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lagos and visited the community, where he apologized to the victims’ families and promised a thorough investigation of the incident.

According to the military, officers who fired at those protesters had acted in self-defense, after they were confronted by people who were looting cars and trucks.

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