The federal government has accused Amnesty International (AI) of deliberate conspiracy to destabilize the country with unfounded accusations against the administration and its military.
The Minister for Information and Future, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the allegation in Lagos on Friday when he appeared on the continental television program “This Morning”, which was monitored by the Nigeria News Agency (NAN).
The minister responded to a recent report by AI, a global movement, on a campaign to end human rights violations, alleged crackdowns and the murder of EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos in October 2020.
The organization had accused the government of covering up the handling of the case and called for the country’s former chiefs of service to be arrested and prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged human rights violations.
During the program, the minister said AI, like most other groups, had refused to provide evidence that people were shot dead at Lekki Toll Gate on the day of the incident.
“We urge Amnesty International, if there is evidence, to provide such names, addresses and convincing evidence that such people were killed at the toll booth.
“The truth is that an Amnesty International led coterie of NGOs spread false news about what happened at the toll booth.
The minister said the best and most transparent way to prove that lives were being lost at the toll booth is to appear before the investigative body set up by the Lagos State government.
He said the panel has invited anyone who has been the victim of EndSARS brutality or anyone whose family has been the victim of extrajudicial murder to come forward.
“More than 100 days later someone has to come out to say that my son, daughter or my community went to the toll booth in protest and did not come back.
“Amnesty International has no respect for our judicial system. If they did, they would have gone to testify instead of producing fake reports and reaching an unfounded conclusion even before the panel even started its work, ”he said.
The minister also accused the organization of double standards in assessing human rights violations.
He said Amnesty International had two laws – one for Nigeria and other developing countries and the other for the developed part of the world.
Mohammed stated that when US authorities were looking for people who marched into Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 and killed four police officers, there was no complaint from AI.
He said when the Nigerian authorities began arresting crooks involved in the murder of 37 police officers, six soldiers, and responsible for the unprecedented destruction of property during the EndSARS protest, AI found her voice.
The minister said while the perpetrators of the Capitol Hill killings were viewed as domestic terrorists, those perpetrating the deadly and destructive protest in Nigeria were labeled innocent protesters.
He said that during the EndSARS protest, social media platforms were used to spread fake news.
Mohammed said when the government tried to crack down on some media platforms for the abuse, it was accused of choking the media.
Conversely, he said when former US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was banned for inciting the crisis, there was not a word about the body.
The minister noted that until developing countries like Nigeria continued to speak out and call on organizations like the AI, as long as they were the crying boys for the entire international community. (NAN)
Vanguard News Nigeria