Nigerian navy ‘may have been negligent’ in Lagos toll gate massacre

A Nigerian judicial panel today condemned a shooting that killed 39 people at a toll gate on the outskirts of Lagos, saying it was “an unprovoked massacre” and suggested security agencies may have been negligent.

Residents were driving into the wealthy Lekki peninsula near the capital when a Nigerian navy ship opened fire on a gas truck that exploded and forced the drivers off the road.

Chukwuma Onyema, a spokesman for the military’s code of conduct, said the Nigeria navy was carrying out a full investigation, but the panel was not satisfied by the inquiry it conducted, labelling it a “staged farce”.

The toll inquiry panel said in a statement that the navy vessel had blocked a path into Lekki with a road block “that contained many heavy tankers and articulated vehicles, two of which exploded in terrible fire incidents and subsequently led to this massive massacre”.

It said those affected by the incident – 39 people died and more than 150 were injured – may not have had time to activate their mobile phones to call for help. It also said the security forces who are supposed to protect them may have been negligent in carrying out their duties, as they allowed the incident to happen.

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