EndSARS: Lagos Government Rejects Panel’s Casualty Figure

Following the EndSARS judicial panel report, the Lagos State Government has reportedly accepted 11 of the 32 recommendations by the Judicial Panel, and rejected one of the recommendations.

According to reports, Gboyega Akoshile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this on Tuesday, after the Lagos State Government released its White Paper on the report by the EndSARS panel that probed the Lekki toll gate incident of October 20, 2020.

According to a statement from him, “Fourteen recommendations fall outside the powers of the Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration. Let the healing begin.”

Findings revealed that in a copy of the White Paper, the report of the killings was rejected, saying the report is full of inconsistencies and contradictions.

Meanwhile, the report of the judicial panel disclosed that at least nine #EndSARS protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, while listing 48 names as those who were casualties of the Lekki incident of October 20, 2020.

Also, out of the 48 casualties listed, 24 sustained gunshot injuries, while 15 others were assaulted by soldiers and police.

However, the White Paper reportedly claimed the judicial report contradicted the evidence of the Pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, that only three of the bodies that they conducted post mortem examination on were from Lekki that only one had gunshot injury, was not debunked.

Reports from the White Paper read that, “The JPI’s finding of nine deaths is therefore irreconcilable with evidence of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died of gunshot wounds at 7:43pm at Lekki Tollgate on 21st October 2020.”

It added that, “Having held that, there was no evidence before it to the contrary of what Prof. Obafunwa said. The question is, where did JPI then get its finding of nine deaths?”

It maintained that, “This finding of nine deaths at LTG on 20th October 2020 is even more baffling because apart from listing out their names in tabular 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.”

It noted that, “It is quite astonishing that in the list of 11 deaths set out at pages 297-298, two (2) of the names appeared twice (Kolade Salami and Folorunsho Olabisi as Nos. 37 and 38). Furthermore, the person listed as No. 46 Nathaniel Solomon who testified as a witness and petitioned the JPI in respect of his brother who he alleged died at Lekki Tollgate (LTG), himself listed as having died at LTG on 20th October 2020.’

It continued that, “Remarkably, Nathaniel Solomon’s deceased brother (Abuta Solomon) was then also listed as No 2 on the list of persons who died at LTG.The only victim of gunshot injury from LTG was picked up at 7:43pm, on 21 October, 2020 after the curfew commenced. Furthermore, there was no shred of evidence regarding who shot him.”

The White paper also stated that, “Another substantial inconsistency in the JPI Report was the award of compensation to only one out of the alleged nine, listed as “deceased” which showed that the JPI itself had doubts as to the death of eight other allegedly deceased persons on its list.”

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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