Despite several denials by the Nigerian government, the Lagos State Judicial Panel has confirmed the shooting and killing of peaceful protesters by security operatives.
The Justice Okuwobi-led judicial panel of inquiry on the Lekki toll gate shooting of protesters on the night of October 20, 2020, submitted its final report to the Lagos State government on Monday, November 15, 2020.
Contrary to what the public was expecting to see from a judicial system which has been questioned over time, findings confirmed that the Nigerian army and police shot, killed, and injured peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
Further, the 309-page report confirmed that security forces would follow-up their operation by picking up bullet shells on the night of the attack and the following morning to avoid traces.
“It was alleged and corroborated that soldiers picked bullet shells on the night of October 20 and policemen followed up in the morning of October 21 to pick bullet shells,’’ the report said.
Also, the report revealed that security forces packed dead bodies in trucks and cleaned up the toll gate alongside the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (LASEHMU).
“It was alleged and corroborated that the soldiers had their vans parked at the Lekki Toll Gate and removed as many bodies and corpses of the fallen,’’ read the report.
“One of the protesters who was shot and taken for dead, Olalekan Sanusi, who eventually escaped to narrate his ordeal and experience stated that 11 corpses were in the van where he was placed in and presumed dead.
“Miss Dabira Ayuku also corroborated the above by stating that she saw about 7 dead bodies placed in one of the military trucks at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of 20th October, 2020.
“Several unidentified bodies were removed by security agencies and LASEHMU (Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit) and deposited at various hospital mortuaries in Lagos state.
“Three (3) trucks with brushes underneath were brought to the Lekki Toll Gate in the morning of October 21st October, 2020 to clean up the scene of bloodstains and other evidence.
“There was abundant evidence before the panel that the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) indicated in its Twitter handle that it had effectively cleaned up the Lekki Toll Gate scene immediately after the incident of October 20, 2020.’’
The panel which also published 48 names as casualties (47 males and one female) also condemned the “denial of ambulances by the soldiers, which could have assisted in the prompt and effective treatment of injured protesters, was cruel and inhuman and it contributed immensely to the large number of deaths and casualties on the part of the protesters, especially those from the Lekki Toll Gate. The panel finds the cases of death or injured protesters as credible and uncontroverted.”
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