The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, faulted the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry as it identified several inconsistence in the much-awaited White Paper released last night.
The panel headed by Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd) and inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into complaints of citizens against human rights abuses by the police had submitted its report a fortnight ago.
Specifically, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in the White Paper, dismissed the panel’s report that nine persons were killed at the tollgate when soldiers and the police shot reportedly at peaceful protesters as “assumptions and speculations.”
The submission of the panel that there was indeed a massacre has since attracted the outrage of Nigerians and the international community who called for the prosecution of the offending officers.
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However, the White Paper faulted the “massacre” claim. It stated that the report listed names of people who died at the Lekki Tollgate but failed to offer explanation regarding circumstances of their death.
The four-member committee led by Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) had Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, Special Adviser, Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye and Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Mrs Tolani Oshodi.
Part of their report read: “It is quite astonishing that in the list of 11 deaths set on pages 297-298, two of the names appeared twice (Kolade Salam, Folorunsho Olabisi as Nos. 37 and 38). Furthermore, the person listed at No. 46 Nathaniel Solomon who testified as a witness and petitioned the Judicial Panel Inquiry in respect of his brother who he allegedly died at Lekki Tollgate was also listed dead person.”
Out of the 32 recommendations made by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in its report of November 15, 2021, the state government accepted 11, rejected one and accepted six with modifications but said 14 of the recommendations fell outside the powers of Lagos State Government and would be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.
The White Paper said the issue of award of compensation to victims and dead’s people family, was marred with inconsistency.
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