At least six #EndSARS protesters jumped into a river near the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State on the evening of October 20 to escape when the Nigerian Army allegedly opened fire on the peaceful protesters, according to Sahara Reporters.
Nigerians recently took to the streets to call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which was known for its police brutality, extrajudicial executions and extortion.
According to the news website, one of the six protesters, Caleb Ossai, said a boat operator came to their rescue and evacuated them to the Ikorodu area.
Ossai told the publication that he was declared missing by his family members for nearly a week before he was traced to the residence of someone who helped him in the Ikorodu area, where he was recuperating from the injuries he sustained during the ordeal.
The 27-year-old said: “I could not find my phone or did not remember any contact of family members I could call. It took a week for my family members to be able to locate me. Many people jumped into that river. I am not sure everyone made it out alive. The man who hosted me in his house told me that the boat was filled and almost capsized as they journeyed to Ikorodu.”
According to Amnesty International, for years Nigerians were subjected to extortion, rape and torture or were even killed by police officers from the SARS, which was disbanded by the government in the wake of the protests.
The rights group has also demanded justice for the affected parties.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the group said: “Survivors of SARS officers’ abuses have risked everything to tell their stories and seek justice, while the loved ones of those who have died do the same.
“The cases of brutality have prompted Nigerians to call for a reform of police through protests and campaigns. It is time to finally end impunity for police brutality and torture in Nigeria.”