Impact of Nigeria's #EndSARS Protests Still Felt Months Later

The #EndSARS protests triggered by grievances arising from years of harassment and rights violations by operatives of the police's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) led to its disbandment in October 2020. A new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), was formed to replace the controversial squad. The protests gained global attention and culminated in the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki tollgate, in which 56 people lost their lives. Media reports of harassment and arrest of protest organisers followed, including the closure of their bank accounts. Now the Central Bank of Nigeria has been ordered by the Federal High Court in Abuja to unfreeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after their alleged involvement in the 2020 anti-police brutality demonstrations. Testimony into the Lekki Tollgate shootings heard the army and law enforcement first deny, then admit using live ammunition. The Premium Times reports that officials of the Lagos State Environmental Tasks Force accompanied by policemen and suspected thugs have burned the homes of residents who witnessed the October 20, 2020 shooting of the unarmed protesters Lekki Tollgate. The youth have also taken to social media to speak against the handover of Lekki tollgate to its owners, Lekki Concession Company.


An #EndSARS protest in Lagos on October 10, 2020 (file photo).

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