The International Criminal Court (ICC) has commenced an inquiry into the End SARS protests in Nigeria.
On Wednesday, BBC reported that the court confirmed that it is conducting a preliminary examination.
The office of the ICC prosecutor said it had received information on alleged crimes.
The probe will “assess whether the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute are met.”
Rallies commenced in Lagos on October 8, but less than a week, peaceful protesters were repeatedly dispersed by the police in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Tears gas, water cannons and live bullets were used in some cases. While this was happening, thugs in Lagos and Abuja attacked End SARS gatherings at different locations with clubs, knives and machetes.
Many were injured, cars and phones damaged. Some casualties were reported. Videos of expensive vehicles leading and guiding the hoodlums went viral.
October 20 marked the turning point of the agitation. From about 6:45pm, Nigerian Army troops allegedly opened fire on unarmed citizens at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos.
The protesters stood their grounds as they waved Nigerian flags and chanted the national anthem.
The incident which caused deaths and injuries has become a dent on Nigeria’s image. Countries and international organizations have demanded prosecution of those involved.
On October 21, rampaging youths occupied the streets in defiance of the curfew imposed by the state government.
Riots and arson broke out in Lagos and other states, mostly in Nigeria’s South. Several private and public properties were destroyed.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said 22 policemen were killed and 205 stations/formations were destroyed during the nationwide riots.
Meanwhile, a divisional police head, citing fear of more attacks on personnel, has advised Nigerians to protect themselves ahead of the yuletide and the new year.
The ICC assured that findings of the preliminary examination on crimes perpetrated during the End SARS protests would be made public.
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