The Lagos State Government has accepted 11 of the 32 recommendations by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-related Abuses and Other Matters.
However, one of the recommendations was rejected, according to Gboyega Akoshile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday.
He said this after the Lagos State Government released its White Paper on the report by the EndSARS panel that probed the Lekki toll gate incident of October 20, 2020.
In a short statement, Gboyega said 14 recommendations fell outside the powers of the Lagos State Government.
In the statement titled, ‘Highlight of the Lagos Government White Paper On The Lekki Incident Investigation’, he said, “Out of the 32 recommendations made by the JPI in its Report of 15th November 2021, Government accepted 11, rejected one and accepted six with modifications.
“Fourteen recommendations fall outside the powers of the Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration. Let the healing begin.”
In a copy of the White Paper, the report of the killings was rejected, saying the report is full of inconsistencies and contradictions.
According to the leaked report of the judicial panel, at least nine #EndSARS protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.
The report listed 48 names as those who were casualties of the Lekki incident of October 20, 2020.
Among the 48 casualties listed, 24 sustained gunshot injuries, while 15 others were assaulted by soldiers and police.
But the White Paper claimed the judicial report contradicted the evidence of the Pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, that only three of the bodies that they conducted post mortem examination on were from Lekki that only one had gunshot injury, was not debunked.
Part of the White Paper read, “The JPI’s finding of nine deaths is therefore irreconcilable with evidence of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died of gunshot wounds at 7:43pm at Lekki Tollgate on 21st October 2020.
“Having held that, there was no evidence before it to the contrary of what Prof. Obafunwa said. The question is, where did JPI then get its finding of nine deaths?
“This finding of nine deaths at LTG on 20th October 2020 is even more baffling because apart from listing out their names in tabular form at pages 297-298, the JPI offered no explanation regarding circumstances of their death. The names simply sprang up at pages 297-298 of the report without any justification.
“It is quite astonishing that in the list of 11 deaths set out at pages 297-298, two (2) of the names appeared twice (Kolade Salami and Folorunsho Olabisi as Nos. 37 and 38). Furthermore, the person listed as No. 46 Nathaniel Solomon who testified as a witness and petitioned the JPI in respect of his brother who he alleged died at Lekki Tollgate (LTG), himself listed as having died at LTG on 20th October 2020.
“Remarkably, Nathaniel Solomon’s deceased brother (Abuta Solomon) was then also listed as No 2 on the list of persons who died at LTG.
“The only victim of gunshot injury from LTG was picked up at 7:43pm, on 21 October, 2020 after the curfew commenced. Furthermore, there was no shred of evidence regarding who shot him.
“Another substantial inconsistency in the JPI Report was the award y compensation to only one out of the alleged nine, listed as “deceased” which showed that the JPI itself had doubts as to the death of eight other allegedly deceased persons on its list.”
The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-related Abuses and Other Matters had on November 15, 2021, submitted its report after which Sanwo-Olu set up a White Paper committee.
The four-member committee was led by Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).
Other members of the committee are; Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mr. Segun Dawodu; Special Adviser, Works, and Infrastructure, Engr. (Mrs) Aramide Adeyoye and Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Mrs. Tolani Oshodi.
The judicial panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into complaints of citizens against human rights abuses by the police. But following the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, the Terms of Reference of the panel were expanded to cover that incident.
The panel sat for over one year, listening to testimonies of petitioners, witnesses, experts, and lawyers.
The panel treated 235 petitions and awarded N410 million as compensation to 70 victims.
Some of the recommendations of the judicial panel include “that the Lekki Toll Plaza be made a memorial site for ENDSARS Protest: By renaming to “ENDSARS TOLLGATE”.
“The panel recommends that October 20th of every year, the day is made a “Toll Free Day” at the Lekki Toll Gate as long as the tollgate exists.
“That October 20th of every year be made EndSARS day Nationally for the remembrance of our falling youth.
“A monument memorializing the lives lost and those injured at the Lekki Toll Gate with the names inscribed on the Monument.”
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