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#EndSARS: Lagos Releases White Paper, Rejects Recommendation on ‘Lekki Killings’

The Lagos State Government has rejected one of the recommendations of the panel it set up to probe police brutality.

The panel, which was inaugurated last year, submitted its report to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu two weeks ago.

However, shortly after the report was submitted, a leaked version went into circulation.

In the leaked report, the panel indicted the military and the police.

It also said nine persons were killed at the Lekki tollgate, recommending that the toll plaza should be named after EndSARS while the victims should be honoured.

The panel also recommended that October 20 every year should be made toll free at the scene of the incident in honor of the victims who were reportedly killed.

However, the Lagos government rejected the recommendation of the panel on the killings, citing inconsistencies.

“Lagos State Government accepts 11 out of the 32 recommendations made by the JPI in its report of 15th November 2021, rejected one (1) and accepted 6 (six) with modifications,” the document reads.

“Fourteen (14) recommendations fall outside the powers of Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration,” Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner for Information, said in a statement.

“Fourteen (14) recommendations fall outside the powers of Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.”

The White Paper said the panel could not justify that people were killed.

“This finding of nine (9) deaths at LTG on 20 October is even more baffling because apart from listing out their names in that 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,” the White Paper read.

“On the basis of the above fundamental inconsistencies in the findings the JPI regarding the nine (9) deaths at LTG, and particularly because the findings are clearly and mainly not supported by evidence before the JPI as attested to by the JPI itself, when it said there was no contrary evidence to that of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died at LTG of gunshot wounds at LTG on 20th October 2020, the Government is therefore unable to accept the finding that nine people died of gunshot wounds at LTG on 20th October 2020.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had said he was waiting for the outcome of the panels set up by state governments.

Speaking when Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, visited him in Abuja, Buhari had said state governments will have to take steps on the reports of their panels, before the Federal Government acts on the recommendations.

“So many state governments are involved, and have given different terms of reference to the probe panels.

“We at the federal have to wait for the steps taken by the states, and we have to allow the system to work. We can’t impose ideas on them. Federal government has to wait for the reaction of the states,” he had said.

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