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Lagos #EndSARS report: FG lists loopholes, UN, US, others demand sanctions

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Lagos #EndSARS report: FG lists loopholes, UN, US, others demand sanctions

 

Lekki toll gate.fw

The United States Government as well as several human rights groups, including Amnesty International, on Tuesday called for action on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters, which stated that at least nine persons were killed and 39 others injured at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.

However, the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government refused to comment on the report, which was submitted to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday.

The panel, led by Justice Doris Okuwobi, also recommended that all soldiers (excluding Major General Omata), who were deployed in the Lekki tollgate, should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action, stripped of their ranks and dismissed as they were not fit and proper to serve in any public or security service of the nation.

It said the Divisional Police Officer of the Maroko Police Station, along with policemen deployed from Maroko Police Station on October 20 and 21, 2020, should be prosecuted for arbitrary, indiscriminate shooting and killing of protesters.

Responding to the report on Tuesday, the United States Mission to Nigeria said it welcomed the final report by the panel, adding that it awaits the response of both the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government.

It said in a statement, “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 tollgate 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.”

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, noted that the submission of the findings of the judicial panel would accelerate the process of justice and accountability.

Kallon in a statement on Tuesday titled, ‘United Nations welcomes the submission of #EndSARS report, urges government’s commitment to implementing judicial panel’s recommendations’, said the implementation of the findings would help rebuild trust and start the process of healing and reconciliation.

Kallon said, “I welcome the submission to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of the reports of the judicial panel on claims of brutality and shooting in the Lekki area of Lagos State during the 2020 #EndSARS protests.

“I urge the government to implement the recommendations of the judicial panel of inquiry to rebuild trust and start the process of healing and reconciliation.”

Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), in a statement, recommended that the report of the panel be forwarded to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Falana, who is the Interim Chair, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, said this in a statement titled, ‘Lagos State is Duty Bound to Implement the Recommendations of the Okuwobi Judicial Commission of Inquiry’.

The activist said members of the panel deserved commendation for the thorough investigation of police brutality in Lagos State.

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