*Condoles With Families Who Lost Their Lives
Mr. Jibrin Samuel Okutepa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has called on Nigerian youths to be united.
In a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL), the learned silk condoled with the protesters that were killed by the military at the Lekki Toll Gate
He said, “The youths of Nigeria need to come together and resist the continued temptations of allowing themselves to be used against themselves and their interests.
“My heart goes out in sympathy and condolences for those who lost their lives in the struggle for good governance and to put an end to impunity and brutality of our police and security agencies during this #EndSARS protests.”
According to Okutepa, the well-organized EndSars protest was hijacked by hoodlums leading to lost of properties. He called on youths not to be used to cause division
“An otherwise well thought out and well-organized protests in exercise of a constitutional right was hijacked by miscreants and hooligans mainly populated by youths. This led to the most wanton destruction of both private and public properties. Those who were used or allowed themselves to be used are the Nigerian youths.
“Nigerian youths cannot afford to be divided. A very noble cause by the youths has been or is likely to be truncated based on acts or omissions of some youths who found it convenient to allow themselves to be used.”
Furthermore, Okutepa (SAN) condemned the killing of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate by the military. He said it was not proper to have used extrajudicial killings in enforcing curfew against the protesters
“For the bloodthirsty armed personnel that agreed to be trigger happy, all I can say and to use the words of late Dele Giwa, is that no evil done to a man by a man shall go unpunished. If not now certainly in the future.
“That all is not well with us as a nation is a fact too well known and appreciated by those who are in authorities. No nation should be happy to see it’s citizens slaughtered the way it happened in Lekki last night. Yes there was curfew and there was apparent disregards for the curfew, but was it right to use disproportionate force to enforce the curfew as it was done in this case. I do not think so.
“Extrajudicial killings cannot be resorted to in enforcing the curfew. If there be a breach of imposed curfew government ought to use civilised method of effecting the arrest of those who allegedly breached the curfew imposed.”
He, therefore, described the killings as illegal and unconstitutional and unjustifiable.
“The barbaric manner in which armed personnel went about the Lekki Tollgate extermination of lives of Nigerian youths is completely illegal and constitutional. The arguments that these protesters went beyond their briefs cannot justify their being slaughtered and maim the way it is being reported. Nigerians are in pains. Government cannot pretend not to know this.
“Those who think that being in power is a licence to kill without regards to due process should know that the just judge will judge them.
“My condolences to the families of those who may have lost their lives in this unfortunate but avoidable situation.” he said