Temitope Majekodunmi has blasted the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government over the contents of its white paper issued Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Majekodunmi, a youth representative on the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters, told FIJ that the state ignored many parts of the over 1000-page panel report.
The state government ignored cases of police brutality and panel recommendations, according to Majekodunmi.
“The white paper is not communicating the true report, because they are barely saying anything about police brutality cases and recommendations,” he said.
He also told FIJ that evidence of the Lekki Tollgate massacre was included in the report submitted to the state, and wondered why the white paper maintained that one person died when the report contained evidence of more.
FIJ earlier reported how Sanwo-Olu confirmed two dead bodies and the presence of military personnel at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, a deviation from the white paper’s claim that one person died from bullet wounds from an unknown source.
Asked about the white paper’s query of compensation to Serah Ibrahim, one of the Lekki Tollgate massacre witnesses, Majekodunmi said the government’s comment on the topic further proved it did not read the report.
“Serah Ibrahim was not the only eyewitness that the panel awarded a compensation to. That was why I said the state did not read the report,” he told FIJ.
“There were four. Perpetual Kamsichukwu, Dabira Ayuku and Victoria Oniru the panel awarded compensations of N5 million each to them, while Serah Ibrahim was awarded a compensation of N10 million because she was the star witness.
“These persons were at the tollgate all through; they were eyewitnesses. The fact that they did not have physical wounds on them does not in any way mean that they were not emotionally traumatised.
“The assault was perpetrated on every person there. They may judge on the angle of the law of the court, but the panel is not a court; it is a human rights panel. That is why tribunal law says strict rules of court don’t apply.
“The panel thanked these witnesses because if nobody came forward, nobody would have been bold enough to challenge the lies of the government.”
However, the white paper released by the government queried these compensations, meaning none of the awardees got any payment.
He also lamented what he described as a hasty response to the panel report.
“It is not possible for them to check through the report of the panel with its evidence in two weeks. They chose the time, but if they were sincere, they would have needed more time to go through it and speak with the federal government so they could address everything.”
Majekodunmi said the state is setting a precedent that will discourage other patriotic Nigerians from serving on panels.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Quotes about the compensations were initially reported verbatim as “given” rather than “awarded”. This story has been edited to reflect that the sums were mere awards that none of the mentioned names received.
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