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Nigeria at risk of facing US arms embargo over alleged killings of protesters

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Nigeria had reportedly placed itself at risk of facing an arms embargo by the US following the indictment of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses.

The indictment stated that at least nine persons were killed by the Army at the Lekki toll plaza when soldiers stormed the tollgate to disperse #EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

“The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters, while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags and while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a massacre in context,” the 309-page report reads.

The panel also said that the Nigeria Police Force killed some protesters and shot those who tried to flee after the Army exited the scene. It recommended that all army officers present at the incident be stripped of their ranks and dismissed.

The UN, US, UK, and Amnesty International have urged the Nigerian government to handle the panel’s report transparently while the Federal Government await the release of the White Paper.

The US had previously imposed an arms embargo on Nigeria during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. It prevented the country from properly combatting terrorism and bandit attacks, and it was only lifted under the previous US administration under Donald Trump.

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