At least 9 protesters died at Lekki Toll Gate, says Lagos Judicial Panel

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Aishat Ibrahim

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters has said at least 9 #EndSARS protesters died at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.

This was contained in the report submitted to the Lagos State Government on Monday, at a brief ceremony at Government House Alausa Ikeja. The report is titled ‘Report of Lekki Incident Investigation Of 20th October 2020′.

According to the report, 48 names were listed as casualties of the incident. Nine protesters were confirmed dead, while four were presumed deceased.

The report also indicated that about 20 persons sustained gunshot injuries, while 13 others were assaulted by the military.

Recall that the panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into issues of human rights abuses by police. However, after the incident at Lekki toll gate plaza on October 20, 2020, the panel was also tasked to cover the incidents.

Those killed, according to the report, were Victor Sunday Ibanga, Abuta Solomon, Jide, Olalekan Abideen Ashafa, Olamilekan Ajasa, Kolade Salami, Folorunsho Olabisi, Kenechukwu Ugoh and Nathaniel Solomon.

According to a member of the panel, Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN, the panel is tasked to specially look into the shooting at Lekki toll gate.

“There was any protest at the Lekki Toll Gate, the nature of the protest, the presence and mission of soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate, whether blank or live bullets were shot by the soldiers, whether there was any death and if so, the numbers involved, whether there was any massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, and if so, what evidence is available in proof thereof, whether the police were at the Lekki Toll Gate and if so, whether they shot and killed the protesters, etc,”, he said.

According to the report, the protesters were allegedly killed by policemen and soldiers at protests ground at Lekki toll gate plaza negating the claims of Federal Government that there was no massacre at the scene.

“The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters, while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags, while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a massacre in context,” the report reads in part.

The panel also stated that 96 other unidentified corpses were presented by a forensic pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof John Obafunwa.

“The panel finds that the fact of lack of identity of some of the other 96 corpses on the list supplied by Prof Obafunwa would not obliterate the fact that some of them could have come from the Lekki Tollgate incident of October 20, 2020 or that some other unidentified corpses may have been removed by their families or the military, as claimed by the #EndSARS protesters, far and beyond the list tendered by Prof Obafunwa.”

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, regarding the report submitted, has set up a four-man Committe to prepare a White Paper for the purpose of implementing the findings and recommendations expressed in the report and give it legal backing.

The panel will be headed by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN). Members are Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Segun Dawodu; Special Adviser, Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye; and Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Tolani Oshodi.

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