LAGOS (Reuters) – Soldiers opened fire on Nigerian protesters in the Lekki district of the commercial capital Lagos on Tuesday, shooting at least two people, three witnesses told Reuters.
Police vehicles are seen parked during a protest, as authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew on the Nigerian state of Lagos, in response to protests against alleged police brutality, Nigeria October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja
Protesters have demonstrated here for more than a week over allegations of police brutality in Nigeria.
“They started firing ammunition toward the crowd. They were firing into the crowd,” said Alfred Ononugbo, 55, a security officer. “I saw the bullet hit one or two persons,” he said.
Lagos state government said it would open an investigation into the shooting, which witnesses said took place around 7 p.m. (1800 GMT).
“There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza,” Gboyega Akosile, a spokesman for the governor, said on Twitter. “The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he said in another tweet.
A Nigerian army spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Inyene Akpan, 26, a photographer, said more than 20 soldiers arrived at the toll gate in Lekki and opened fire. He said he saw two people being shot.
Akinbosola Ogunsanya, a third witness, said he saw around 10 people being shot. He also said he saw soldiers remove bodies.
A Reuters witness heard sirens and gunfire.
Authorities on Tuesday imposed a round-the-clock curfew on Lagos, which contains Africa’s biggest city, in response to the protests, which the state governor said had turned violent.
The national police chief also ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot forces nationwide following increased attacks on police facilities, a police spokesman said.
Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram and Libby George in Lagos; Additonal reporting by Camillus Eboh in Abuja; Editing by Grant McCool