The Lagos #EndSARS panel says police officers attempted to cover up the shooting of protesters at Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020 while the Army used their van to pack the dead and the wounded.
Recall that over the past year, the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters has heard petitions on police brutality and has also investigated the contentious Lekki tollgate incident.
The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel made this known in its report submitted to the Lagos State Government on Monday, November 15.
Here is a list of those guilty in the killing according to the Lagos panel
1. The police
“The panel found that the Nigerian Police Force deployed its officers to the Lekki tollgate on the night of the 20th October, 2020 and between that night and the morning of the 21st of October, 2020, its officer shot at, assaulted and battered unarmed protesters, which led to injuries and deaths. The police officers also tried to cover up their actions by picking up bullets,” the panel wrote.
Killing of 322 police, 642 soldiers, indicate we are in very difficult circumstances, Northern Elders lament
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It added that the Divisional Police Officer of the Maroko Police Station along with policemen deployed from the Maroko Police Station on October 20 and 21, 2020 should be prosecuted for arbitrary and indiscriminate shooting and killing of protesters.
2. The Army
“Panel also finds that the shooting of the protesters by the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020 was unwarranted, excessive, provocative and unjustifiable in the circumstances of the state of the protests, which were peaceful and orderly.”
"All officers (excluding Major General Omata) and men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed in the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020 should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action, stripped of their status, and dismissed as they are not fit and proper to serve in any public or security service of the nation.”
Lekki Concession Company (Hinders investigation)
The panel said the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) refused to provide vital evidence that would have aided its investigation.
LCC was also accused of manipulating the CCTV footage presented to the panel during its sitting.
“The panel found that LCC hampered the panel’s investigation by refusing to turn over some useful and vital information/evidence as requested by the panel and the forensic expert engaged by the panel, even where such information and evidence was by the company’s admission, available,” the report reads.
“It manipulated the incomplete CCTV Video footage of the Lekki tollgate on the night of the 20th of October 2020, which it tendered before the panel.”
Action governor: Sanwo-Olu begins serious work on Lagos EndSARS panel's reports
The Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, November 15, announced his reception of the reports of the EndSARS commission of inquiry.
Via his Instagram page, Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed his gratitude to the chairman of the panel Justice Doris Okuwobi and his members for their service.
The governor noted that in order to ensure swift implementation of the recommendations made in the report, his administration has set up a four-member committee led by the Lagos state attorney-general and commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) to raise a white paper.