The Federal Government has said that one year after a massacre was alleged to have occurred at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, no evidence has been provided to back the claim.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known during a press conference on the first anniversary of EndSARS on Wednesday, October 20.
Lai at the press conference said the Federal government is yet to receive any evidence for the alleged killing.
“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?
Recall, gentlemen, that after bandying different figures, Amnesty International finally settled at about 12 people killed. On its part, CNN went from 38 people killed to two to just one, after a supposed global exclusive even when the network had no reporter on ground at the Lekki Toll Gate on Oct. 20th 2020.” he said
Lai Mohammed also insisted that men of the Nigerian Army did not shoot at the protesters who gathered at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.
“On Oct. 20th (2020), members of the security forces enforced curfew by FIRING SHOTS INTO THE AIR (emphasis mine) to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigeria Police Force Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end. Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s Report, and NO OTHER ORGANIZATION WAS ABLE TO VERIFY THE CLAIM (emphasis mine).”
With the preponderance of evidence against any massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20th 2020, we are once again reiterating what we said one year ago, that:
The military did not shoot at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20th 2020, and there was no massacre at the toll gate. The only ‘massacre’ recorded was in the social media, hence there were neither bodies nor blood.”he said
The Minister stated that 11 out of 28 States that raised panels on last year’s #ENDSARS protest have submitted reports to the National Economic Council (NEC) and that all those indicted by the various judicial commissions will face trial.
”At its meeting on 15 October 2021, the NEC received an update on the Reports of Judicial Panels of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations against Members of Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies.
Note that 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – under the auspices of the National Human Rights Commission – had set up Judicial Panels/Commissions of Inquiry to investigate allegations of violations of human rights levied against members of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, especially members of the disbanded SARS.
Out of the 28 States, 11 States (Abia, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, and Rivers) have submitted their final reports to Council. Governors of other States have also indicated that their reports would be submitted soon.
Following deliberations on the recommendations of the panels, NEC agreed/resolved as follows:
Each State, in collaboration with the Federal Government, shall establish modalities for the settlement of all monetary compensations awarded by the Panels.
Already, as resolved by NEC, a number of States have set up Victims Compensation Funds, from which several victims have already received payments of sums awarded to them by the panels.
The Council directed State Governors to immediately forward copies of final reports of the panels to their Attorneys-General for prompt arraignment and prosecution of all indicted persons.
Where incidents in the reports relate to matters of discipline, in addition to prosecution, NEC urged the Nigeria Police Force to take disciplinary action on the affected officers in line with the provisions of the Police Act 2020.”he said