The Lagos State Government has rejected the key recommendations in a report submitted to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu by its judicial panel on restitution for victims of police abuses.
The state government accepts 11 of the 32 recommendations by the panel, rejects one, and agrees to modify six, noting that 14 are beyond its power.
In a white paper released on Tuesday, the government says the panel report that nine protesters were killed at the Lekki Tollgate is baffling, noting there is no substantial evidence to justify the claim.
“The findings of the JPI that nine (9) people died at LTG on 21st October 2020 from gunshots fired by the military are based on assumptions and speculations,” the white paper reads in part. “The inconsistencies and contradictions in the entire JPI report concerning the number of persons who died at LTG on 20th October 2020 and their cause of death rendered the JPI’s findings and conclusions thereon as totally unreliable and therefore unacceptable.”
The white paper states that the panel’s finding of nine deaths is “irreconcilable with the evidence of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died of gunshot wounds at 7:43 pm at LTG on 21st October 2020”, and that the Lagos government lacks the power to investigate police officers the panel accused of unleashing carnage on young protesters.
The paper also notes that only four of the 22 recommendations on police brutality will be accepted by the state government, while the other 18 will be forwarded to the federal government.
The government also states that it lacks the power to take disciplinary actions against Col. S.O. Bello and Major- General Godwin Umelo, the military officers who refused to honour the summons of the panel in order to frustrate the investigation.
On November 15, the panel submitted a 309-page report to Governor Sanwo-Olu, revealing names of #EndSARS protesters murdered by invading Nigerian soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate.
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