Lekki Tollgate Massacre: CHRSJ backs US, UN over report ….. Demands justice for the victims

Oru Leonard

A human rights organization, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has thrown its weight behind the authorities of United States of America (USA) and United Nations on the recent reports of Lagos State Government on #EndSARS Panel headed by Justice Doris Okuwobi (retired).

In a statement made available to News Dot Africa, the Executive Chairman, CHRSJ, Comrade ADENIYI Alimi Sulaiman said the rights group gave kudos to the authorities of the United States of America (USA), and United Nations, for their prompt responses to the reports, saluting the courage of the American authority in particular, for standing with the truth and justice on the Lekki Tollgate Massacre since year 2020.

It would be recalled that the Lagos State Government under leadership of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, following the directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, set up a Panel for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters in the State which the panel was headed by a retired Justice of the State High Court, Justice Doris Okuwobi.

Justice Okuwobi submitted the panel reports to State Government of Sanwo-Olu on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, where the panel declared that people were killed and injured at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, during the #End SARS protests.

The Panel recommended for outright dismissal of Soldiers and Police deployed to the Lekki Tollgate on the fateful day of the saga.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Sanwo-Olu, while receiving the reports, disclosed that the State Government would set up a four-members committee by Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN)*, to come up with a White Paper in two weeks, promising that the state government’s action would be guided by the law and in the public interest.

CHRSJ, quoting the US Mission in Nigeria that America was waiting for the response from President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government and Lagos authorities.

The US added that the actions were part of a process that represents an important mechanism of accountability regarding the #EndSARS protests and the events led to serious allegations against some members of the security forces.

Reacting to the reports after an emergency monthly meeting of the rights organization (CHRSJ) to deliberate on the reports and State of the Nation on Friday in Lagos, recalling that on October 2020*, the Nigeria Army shot at the protesters* at the Lekki Tollgate but Military in collaboration with the Federal Government through Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Muhammed had continued denied the saga despite account of witnesses and including hospitals where the dead bodies deposited and also where the victims received treatment.

The group through a signed statement by its Executive Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, lauded panel for opening the Can of Worm by allowing the truth and justice to prevail in its final reports.

It further said that the Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed had brought disrepute to the country in the wake of the State sponsored massacre against innocent and armless protesters at Lekki Tollgate against the abuses of men of banned Special Anti-Robbery Squad Unit of Nigeria.

CHRSJ alleged that Sanwo-Olu and Muhammed had earlier insisted that no killing was took place in the Lekki Tollgate and also insisted then that the men of Nigeria Army
were not involved in the killing of innocent protesters, adding that the both Lagos State and Federal Government alleged CNN and Amnesty International of misrepresenting on happening at the Lekki Tollgate then, but to the glory of God, the State sponsored Panel came out with the truth of the whole scenario by stating the numbers of deaths with injured and missing persons.

CHRSJ, then, advised Sanwo-Olu and Lai Muhammed to voluntarily rescue themselves from their present position of authourities being occupied in the interest of truth and justice.

It, therefore, urged the Governments at the Federal and State levels to ensure justice for the alive victims and the families of dead persons as being recommended by the panel.

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