Former Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Betty Apiafi, on Wednesday condemned the shooting of protesters in Lekki toll gate in Lagos.
Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Uche Anichukwu, said any restrictions on the rights of Nigerians, including the right to peaceful assembly must follow the Constitution.
He called for justice for everyone, who had fallen victim of government’s actions or inactions in the face of the nationwide protests.
He said the rights to peaceful assembly remained guaranteed by the Constitution and any unilateral imposition of curfews was unconstitutional.
He, however, stressed the need to arrest and prosecute criminals, who had taken advantage of the protests to cause loss of lives and properties.
Ekweremadu said: “The events at the EndSARS protest at the Lekki Tollgate and use of maximum force on unarmed protesters last night is another low for our nation and her democracy and should be condemned by men and women of conscience across all political divides.
“Therefore, my heart goes out to the wounded and the families of the dead. Everyone involved in this irrational and horrendous act must be held accountable in order to preserve the sanctity of human lives, our democracy, and what is left of our dignity in the comity of civilised nations”.
In calling for restraint and constitutionalism in dealing with the protests, Ekweremadu said: “Times like this call for dialogue and restraint on the part of government and utmost patriotism and professionalism on the part of those charged with securing lives and property. Anything to the contrary may be tantamount to pouring petrol on a raging inferno.
“Unfortunately, government in dealing with the present situation, has taken even more dangerous steps by deploying soldiers as well as by imposing restrictions on the rights of Nigerians without following the provisions of Sections 45 and 305 of the 1999 Constitution.
“And doing so exposes both those who are deploying the soldiers and those engaging in human rights abuses under such extra-constitutional restrictions to trial by the International Criminal Court in future.