The United States Government has reaffirmed its visa ban policy for anti-democratic forces and human rights violators in Nigeria.
Persons also found culpable in the shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos on Tuesday night may also be restricted from entering the United States.
This is just as the judicial panel set up by the Lagos State Government to probe the Lekki killings is set to begin an investigation into the incident on Monday.
On Tuesday, October 20 2020, soldiers deployed to quell the protests had opened fire on the unarmed protesters.
The Defence headquarters swiftly denied deploying soldiers in the Lekki Toll Plaza.
But the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, insisted the military carried out the shooting on the peaceful protesters at the toll plaza.
“For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. I have, nonetheless, ordered an investigation into the rules of engagement adopted by men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki tollgate last night,” Sanwo-Olu.
While the casualty figure remains a subject of controversy, global rights group, Amnesty International, maintains 12 persons were killed in the attack.
Nigerian renowned pharmacist and politician, Jimi Agbaje, also condemned the use of ‘excessive force’ on unarmed protesters saying they were brutally pulled down while peacefully expressing their displeasure over police brutality.
The US, however, reiterated its stance on anti-democratic forces and human rights violators.
According to the PUNCH NG, the US Foreign Mission to Nigeria said, “We stand by Secretary Pompeo’s statement of October 8, 2020: Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms.
“We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions.”
In the same vein, some senior officials of the United States Government had on Thursday met with the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and expressed displeasure over the shooting at unarmed protesters in Lekki.
The US officials demanded that the soldiers behind the shootings be brought to justice.
The officials, in a statement, also raised concerns over the ongoing violence in Nigeria as well as human rights violations and human trafficking.
Similarly, International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, also acknowledged receipts of complaints about the incident.
She tweeted, “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.”