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Lekki toll gate massacre: Why Buhari should resign – AAC [Where are the bodies?] #EndSARS

Lekki toll gate massacre: Why Buhari should resign – AAC
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The African Action Congress (AAC) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over the Lekki toll gate massacre.

 

The party hailed the report of the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led Lagos State Panel for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters.

 

A statement on Tuesday by Femi Adeyeye, National Publicity Secretary, condemned repeated state-sponsored violence against peaceful and unarmed citizens.

 

Adeyeye noted that the October 20, 2020 Army shootings was an unfortunate crescendo where the government “murdered our youths at the Lekki toll gate and other parts of the country”.

 

The spokesman said yet, over 300 young people are languishing in different prisons across Nigeria, many of whom were either participants of the protests or just passers-by.

 

“We have continued to condemn the injustice and high-handedness of this regime as it continues to use excessive force on protesters but kid gloves on terrorists.

 

“The wicked decision of the Buhari regime which was hatched in Lagos, to halt a protest of armless citizens who have only stood against Police brutality, is a confirmation of its irresponsibility and terroristic tendencies.

 

“What is more unfortunate than the killing is the enormous resources deployed by the state to deny the killing – a gross insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.



“Bola Tinubu, Lai Mohammed, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Lagos “enterprise” who sponsored the misinformation should bury their heads in shame, as the engine of the vehicle that would convey them to The Hague has been ignited”.

 

ACC said the report answered the derisive question that was posed at citizens by “Tinubu and his gang” who had queried: “Where are the bodies?”.

 

“Those who gave the order to kill defenseless young people must be brought to book, starting from the Grand Commander, President Buhari.”

 

The statement added that not just Nigerian courts, the International Criminal Court (ICC) awaits all indicted government officials, officers and their commanders.

 

THE REPORT

Atrocious killing of unarmed protesters at Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020, can be equated to a ‘massacre’ in context, the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters has said.

 

The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel made this known in its report submitted to the Lagos State Government on Monday.

 

In the report, titled, ‘Report Of Lekki Incident Investigation Of 20th October 2020’, a copy of which was sighted by correspondent, the panel said at least 48 protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullets wounds or assaulted by soldiers who stormed the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020.

 

Although the Lagos State Government has not released the report, civil advocacy group, Enough is Enough Nigeria, has.

Lekki toll gate massacre: Why Buhari should resign – AAC
Lekki toll gate massacre: Why Buhari should resign – AAC

Page 294 of the bulky 309-page report partly read, “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.

 

Also, page 295 of the report said, “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 protesters which they took away with their vans.”



In its recommendations, the panel emphasised that all those involved in the attack on youths should be made to face disciplinary measures.

 

It also stated, “The Panel recommends 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 Oct 20th of every year be made EndSARS day Nationally for the remembrance of our falling youth.

 

“That for the purpose of restitution, healing and reconciliation the federal Government needs to publicly apologize to the youth for abruptly undermining the protest with their state actors.

 

“The Government should do all it can to bridge the gap of distrust with the Youth.

 

“A monument memorializing the lives lost and those injured at the Lekki Toll Gate with the names inscribed on the Monument.”

Lekki toll gate massacre: Why Buhari should resign – AAC

The panel report negates the consistent claim by the Federal Government of Nigeria that there was no massacre at the toll gate, a focal gathering point during last year’s nationwide demonstration against extrajudicial killings and police brutality by operatives of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

 

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had staunchly maintained that the Lekki incident was a “massacre without bodies” and had threatened to sue media house that claimed otherwise.

 

EndSARS Promoters React

Some of the notable names who promoted the protest against police brutality, in line with the tagline #EndSARS, have reacted to the report of the Lagos state inquiry panel into the October 20, 2020 shooting incident at the Lekki toll-gate.

 

In a statement made available to by Oduala Olorunrinu, popularly known as Rinu, they said the report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry is a crucial first step in the right direction.

 

According to the promoters, the value of the report will only be realized when the government takes steps in good faith to ensure transparency and accountability in implementing its recommendations.

 

“It is important to note that Lagos State’s JPI report is just one of the many that are expected,” the statement said.

 

“In response to our #5for5 demands, on October 15, 2020 the National Executive Council (NEC) mandated all state governments to set up Judicial Panels of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other Related Offences.

 

“One year and 2,791 petitions later, 7 states – Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara – have refused to set up panels; 6 states have completed sittings and submitted reports (Ekiti, Ondo & Bayelsa are publicly available); 18 states have completed sittings but not submitted reports; 3 states have suspended sittings indefinitely; Kogi inaugurated its Panel but has not had any sittings, and the sitting in Abuja is ongoing.



“We are using this opportunity to reiterate our demands for justice and remind the Nigerian state of its constitutional responsibility,” the statement added.

 

Read full statement below:

“The 309-page report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters (JPI Report) is a crucial first step in the right direction, with a long journey to go.

 

The presentation of the JPI report by the panel to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, marks a significant milestone; however, the value of the report will only be realized when the government takes steps in good faith to ensure transparency and accountability in implementing its recommendations.

 

The Justice Okuwobi-led panel has gone a long way in acknowledging the pain of Nigerian citizens, who have been left scarred for years by traumatic experiences at the hands of the country’s security agencies. Crucially, the report also confirmed the reality of the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre, by naming verified victims, deceased and living, who suffered an inhumane, horrific act of human rights abuse, being shot at by the same security agents sworn to protect us as they peacefully protested for justice.

 

It is important to note that Lagos State’s JPI report is just one of the many that are expected. In response to our #5for5 demands, on October 15, 2020 the National Executive Council (NEC) mandated all state governments to set up Judicial Panels of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other Related Offences. One year and 2,791 petitions later, 7 states – Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara – have refused to set up panels; 6 states have completed sittings and submitted reports (Ekiti, Ondo & Bayelsa are publicly available); 18 states have completed sittings but not submitted reports; 3 states have suspended sittings indefinitely; Kogi inaugurated its Panel but has not had any sittings; and the sitting in Abuja is ongoing.

 

We are using this opportunity to reiterate our demands for justice and remind the Nigerian state of its constitutional responsibility as stated in Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) – … “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

 

Furthermore, what is deeply disturbing is the fact that these cases of police brutality, extortion, and harassment have continued to rise significantly in the country, as some police officers continue to act with impunity, searching phones with slaps and beatings, torturing and extorting young people amongst other heinous crimes. The #EndSARS movement has dutifully observed these trends and reiterates that it is the Nigerian government’s obligation to protect and defend its citizens and urgent action MUST be taken at all levels and by all elected/appointed officials to ensure that this responsibility is executed and prioritized.

 

We therefore expect that the federal and state governments will act in good faith and urgently ensure that the following recommendations which are in line with the NEC’s directive, and corroborated by the JPI Report are implemented:

 

The state governments in Lagos and the other 18 states are to ensure that the reports of the Panels are finalized and all made public.

 

All persons indicted in the reports are duly prosecuted and punished, and any compensation recommended is paid in full to all victims and their families.

 

As directed by NEC, all state governments proceed to set up human rights committees to conclude with other cases and ongoing issues with the first order of business being investigation into the unlawful incarceration of #EndSARS peaceful protesters in Lagos, Abuja, Oyo and other states.

 

While we recognize that the Nigeria Police Force is a federal institution, Lagos State has become an extremely problematic hotspot and so many cases of police extortions are being reported daily via the media. The Lagos State government must live up to its responsibility to protect its residents and set up an effective and well-publicized process for reporting, documenting and investigating any further incidents of unauthorised action and brutality by any representatives of the police or other law enforcement agencies. At the very least, we request that a central registry (preferably digital) be set up by the Lagos State government into which citizens can report such incidents, and the Attorney General of the state in collaboration with appropriate officers of the Police Service Commission take steps to ensure a monthly review and accelerated action against offending officers.

 

Clear action to fulfil all promises made regarding police reform. The Police Service Commission should fulfill its mandate and provide a detailed reform strategy with timelines and milestones to improve the remuneration, welfare, training and working conditions of police officers to enable collaboration by civil society organisations and accountability by the government to its commitments.



Lastly, it is imperative that an acknowledgment, and a sincere apology by the state and federal government is received by the victims of police brutality and military oppression in Nigeria at large, and specifically the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre. A memorial of this horrific occurrence must also be installed at the Lekki Toll Gate, to forever mark the memory of the deceased, and honor their martyrdom.

 

This will be a clear indication that the government is ready to work to reform the police, put an end to the brutality suffered by citizens, and begin the process of healing that the country so desperately needs.”

 

Perpetrators must face justice – Amnesty International

Amnesty International has said perpetrators of last year’s Lekki Tollgate massacre in Lagos must face justice after #EndSARS panel released a damning report.

 

Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International Nigeria said: “Amnesty International welcomes the panel’s report, which confirms that Nigerian army and police shot peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on 20 October 2020.

 

“The panel’s findings reveal the truth about what happened at Lekki toll gate and contradict the blatant denial by the Nigerian government that deadly force was used against peaceful #EndSARS protesters.

 

“A day after the crackdown, Amnesty International conducted its own on-the-ground investigation which confirmed that the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters in Lekki and Alausa – with evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports.”

 

She said a week later, Amnesty International was able to release a timeline of the shootings, which confirmed that Nigerian army vehicles left a military base a short drive from the toll gate on the evening of the shootings and were present when the killings began shortly after.

 

“For the survivors and relatives of the dead, the judicial panel report findings are only the first step towards justice and restitution. President Buhari must act promptly to ensure that those found to be responsible for shooting and attacks on peaceful protesters are brought to justice in fair trial.

 

“Nigerian authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies, including adequate compensation, restitution, and guarantee of non-repetition to victims and their families.

 

“Authorities must also immediately and unconditionally release all #EndSARS protesters unlawfully detained since last year,” she stated.



HURIWA wants Lai Mohammed sacked

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has called for the dismissal, arrest, and trial of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for alleged falsehood as to what transpired at the Lekki tollgate, Lagos State on October 20th, 2020.

 

The organisation claimed the minister lied to Nigerians, adding that his claims have now been contradicted by a judicial panel in Lagos.

 

This was contained in a statement issued against the backdrop of the issuance of a conclusive judicial report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Investigations into the Lekki incident last year.

 

Though Mohammed had claimed there was no killing, the panel said there was a massacre in ‘context’.

 

The statement read, “As there has emerged undisputed evidence that indeed there was systematic annihilation of many civilian protesters in Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State last October, we are asking the President Muhammadu Buhari as a father of all to order the arrest and prosecution of his minister of information, Lai Mohammed for committing a grave and heartless offence that is equivalent to the denial of the Holocaust of the 6 million Jews by Adolf Hitler which is punishable by nearly half a century of incarceration.

 

“HURIWA is also commending the brave members and Chairperson of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the #ENDSARS protests especially the circumstances surrounding the massive cases of extrajudicial killings by the Army and armed police when these armed forces opened fire with lethal weapons targeted at the unarmed protesters.

 

“The rights group asked the President not to sweep the lawlessness of the security agencies under the carpet just as it said if the President allows his information minister to get away with the impunity of denying the massacre that happened before the eyes of the world captured live on video cameras, then he will be remembered long after he has retired from public office as a dictator who oversaw the genocide of young protesters and the generations unborn will never forgive him for this.”

 

Mohammed had stridently claimed that there was no evidence to show that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020 during a press conference held in Abuja who young people took to the streets nationwide to mark the first anniversary of the EndSARS protests.

 

The Minister of Information also faulted the claim by Amnesty International that no fewer than 12 protesters were killed in Lagos State by security operatives during the EndSARS protest.

 

He described the claim as a ‘phantom’.

He further asked the Cable News Network, DJ Switch among others to “apologise for misleading the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate and for portraying the Nigerian military, police and other security agencies in a bad light.”



DJ Switch the Commando

Nigerian disc jockey Catherine Udeh, known as DJ Switch, reacted to Lagos State Judicial Commission of Inquiry report on rendition of victims of SARS abuse and other issues .

 

The DJ gained notoriety in 2020 when she took to her Instagram page to do live coverage that showed protesters being shot by Nigerian military personnel at the Lekki toll booth during the protest #EndSARS that rocked the nation last year.

 

While most Nigerians praised her for her courage, the DJ claimed she was on the run from the Nigerian government.

 

So far, the disc jockey is in fourth place on the Nigerian Twitter space, as she is praised for her bravery in capturing soldiers on her Instagram Live shooting at protesters.

 

DJ Switch’s Obianuju Catherine Udeh says,

“On this day, last year 20.10.20 (referring to a video of her singing with the protesters at Lekki Tollgate) we were filled with hopes that young Nigerians took a solid stand.

 

“Through all the government’s antics, lies, counter protesters and thugs that were sent to attack us… we stood our ground!

 

“When the Nigerian government exhausted all their poorly planned tactics, they unleashed nothing short of EVIL on its citizens.

 

“I’ve not been able to talk today… and I cannot imagine what others who had it worse, feel!

 

“I am so proud of our young generation of leaders and our celebrities that have shown great leadership.

 

“I also must say, it is not a one-day affair… this is a fight for the very fabric of our nation!

 

“My life changed on this day… for worse! But, I also believe it changed for good! I now know what it means to need something so bad… and that need for me is a better Nigeria!

 

“To the youths who risked it all today in order to remember 20.10.20, are in every bit Superman/Superwoman!

 

“Thanks to @davido for an anthem to remember!”

 

Hailing, Rinu took to her verified Twitter page indicating that the event of October 20, 2020 had changed and ended the disc jockey’s life.

 

She tweeted: “DJ Switch suffered for over a year from the Lekki massacre. Career and life arrested, embarrassed, trolled, driven out of her house, her country, everything that she had been going well was going well, stopped. All because she had the courage to stand up, document the murders and speak the truth.

 

Popular on-air personality Frank Edoho also tweeted, “Even George Lucas’ company Industrial Light and Magic does vfx for recorded footage, but liars have claimed that DJ Switch has the resources to write a video. Live IG showing people being shot. It is the liars among us (the citizens) who must bow their heads crying out in shame.



A Tough Job to Lai

Nollywood actor and comedian, Okon has hailed as “the truth” a report submitted by the Lagos State Judicial Panel on #EndSARS, adding that the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed now has a “tough job” to defend a lie.

 

Okon on Tuesday in his reaction to the report said it was a “big step to a big win for justice and the people”.

 

“Thank you Lagos State Government. Oya Let the prosecutions and compensations commence. Eyes are watching,” he wrote on Instagram.

 

The popular entertainer whose real name is Bishop Ime Okon added: “The truth about the Lekki tollgate killings is out now! What a tough job you’ve got Uncle Lai to defend a lie! This sleeping dog will refuse to lie.”

 

These Animals Made Us Doubt Our Sanity – Falz Reacts

Falz (Folarin Falana): “These animals legit made us doubt our sanity about the Lagos massacre, you know.

“Something that we watched on Instagram live.

 

“Anyway the panel report is out now and it is clear as day.

“Just in case you thought we would back down at some point. That has never been & will never be an option.

 

“ALL these recommendations must be implemented fully!!

 

“The least that these innocent souls deserve is JUSTICE!”

 

The truth is the EndSARS movement — Mr. Macaroni

For Mr. Macaroni (Debo Adedayo): “Those that have been speaking the truth since 20/10/20 are still saying the same thing till this very day.

 

“Go and check the statements of government reps or their supporters. It’s from one lie to the other. Now they are fighting themselves.

 

“Everlasting confusion for the wicked.

 

“The same panel that the government set up has presented their findings.

 

“Except you people don’t have faith in your own judicial system.

 

“Since last year, we have seen numerous gaslighting and lies!

 

“The truth always prevails and that truth is the #EndSARS Movement.”

 

Why another panel — Timi Dakolo

“They wanna set up another panel to panel the other panel’s findings.”

 

Will you now unban Twitter and ban yourself — Ruggedman
“Now that the truth of what we already know about the Lekki Tollgate Massacre has been revealed, will you now unban Twitter and ban yourself?”



Stop Asking Me About Camera I Found at Lekki Tollgate – Fashola

By the way, Babatunde Fashola, Minister for Works and Housing, says he does not know what happened to the video camera he recovered at the Lekki tollgate after the #EndSARS protests.

 

Following the Lekki tollgate shooting in October 2020, Fashola, while visiting the scene alongside fellow ministers and south-west governors, discovered a hidden camcorder which he said must have been planted by “some subversive elements”.

 

The discovery sparked a plethora of reactions on social media as many Nigerians, including celebrities, took to their pages to air their different views.

 

The clip of the former Lagos state governor picking up his discovery was turned into memes that trended on the internet for months.

 

Speaking with Arise TV on Sunday, Fashola said he doesn’t know what became of his discovery.

 

The minister added that he should not be the one to answer questions on the camcorder, saying he had since handed it over to the Lagos state government.

“You should not be asking me. You have the tapes showing that I handed it over to the government of Lagos, so you have all the recordings,” he said.

 

“I think your people were there. So don’t ask me what happened to the camera. I don’t know.”

 

Only white paper report can confirm alleged Lekki killing – Nigeria Army

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor Tuesday evening in Benin City the Edo State Capital said that only a white paper from the report of the #ENDSARS Judicial panel’s report in Lagos which is indicating through the social media that there were killings during the protest in Lekki, Lagos State would confirm the alleged incidents.

 

He assured that the Nigerian Armed Forces remain committed to their professional calling of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria just as he cautioned Nigerians against making inciting comments on what is happening across the country.

 

Speaking to journalists shortly after a courtesy visit on Governor Godwin Obaseki in government house where the governor called for supported from the armed forces to check banditry and criminality in Edo forests and waterways, Irabor said the operations of the armed forces should not be compared to that of the police adding that his men and women remain professionals.

 

Irabor who was on a farmiliarisation visit to military formations in the state said “I am sure those of you in the media must have seen that there is a report that was released though in my view a wrong channel that is making the rounds in the social media.

 

“Whether it is a true report, I can’t tell but I would like to indicate that the normal procedure is to have such a report submitted to the convening authority and then there will be a white paper based on which one can make informed comments.

 

“But whatever you see currently, I will like to indicate that the armed forces of Nigeria is a professional armed forces, we are peopled by Nigerians and we remain committed to constitutional mandates so we do not at this point think that Nigerians should make disparaging remarks regarding the armed forces of Nigeria in the sense that we are professional armed forces and if there are issues, of course we address them within the ambits of the provision.

 

“It will not be right to disparage men and women who have worked so hard to ensure that the territorial integrity of this nation is kept intact; so in the meantime until I see the full report I may not be able to… but I can assure you that the armed forces of Nigeria are well disciplined and we do not engage in any ignoble acts.



“If Nigerians don’t trust us then we wouldn’t have been doing what we are doing and in any case, it is the armed forces of Nigeria and remember, we are not talking about the police, we are talking about the armed forces with emphasis armed forces so when the armed forces are called out, it is because there is a need for the armed forces; there is no one who do not require and desire to live in peace and so we need to understand that the armed forces is there to keep the peace, to provide the ambience that will enable each and every Nigerian to live up his desires in peace and harmony so let us not make inciting comments that will put the entire space on fire, that is not right.”

 

We look forward to response from FG, Lagos — US

The United States of America has said it welcomes the final report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the EndSARS protests of October 2020.

 

Reacting, the US, through a statement issued by the US Mission Nigeria on social media, said it is awaiting the response of both the Federal Government and Lagos State government on the EndSARS report.

 

The statement read, “The United States welcomes the conclusion of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry with the transmission of its final report.

 

“We look forward to the Lagos State government’s response as part of a process that represents an important mechanism of accountability regarding the #EndSARS protests and the events that took place near the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

 

“Those events led to serious allegations against some members of the security forces, and we look forward to the Lagos State and federal governments taking suitable measures to address those alleged abuses as well as the grievances of the victims and their families.”

 

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who set up the panel, has promised a “proper response” to the findings, according to the BBC.

 

“This process will help us start the very difficult process of proper reconciliation, restitution, bringing together of anyone… affected,” he said.

 

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