Not less than Nine #EndSARS protesters were killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.
This was contained in the report submitted by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-related Abuses and Other Matters obtained by our correspondent on Monday.
According to the report, nine protesters were confirmed dead while four others were presumed dead. The report listed 48 names as those who were casualties of the Lekki incident of October 20, 2020.
Among the 48 casualties listed, 24 sustained gunshot injuries, while 15 others were assaulted by soldiers and police.
The panel also noted that 96 other corpses were presented by a Forensic Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Professor John Obafunwa.
“Three trucks with brushes underneath were brought to the Lekki Toll Gate in the morning of October 21st October, 2020 to clean up the scene of bloodstains and other evidence.
“The testimony and report of Professor John Obafunwa, a forensic pathologist of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, showed that three corpses were deposited at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba Hospital, all from the Lekki Toll Gate and the autopsy conducted thereon revealed death from bleeding caused by penetrating objects or rifled weapon.
“The panel finds that the fact of lack of identity of some of the other 96 corpses on the list supplied by Professor Obafunwa would not obliterate the fact that some of them could have come from the Lekki Toll Gate Incident of October 20, 2020, or that some other unidentified corpses may have been removed by their families or the military, as claimed by the #EndSARS protesters, far and beyond the list tendered by Professor Obafunwa.”
The panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into complaints of citizens against human rights abuses by the police. But following the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, the Terms of Reference of the panel were expanded to cover that incident.
The panel sat for over one year, listening to testimonies of petitioners, witnesses, experts, and lawyers. The panel treated 235 petitions and awarded N410 million as compensation to 70 victims.
Here is the list of Lekki Toll Gate Victims
Meanwhile, a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN, has disclosed that based on evidence before it, “crimes against humanity took place” at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.
Adegboruwa stated this via his Facebook page on Monday even as the panel submitted its final report to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, same day.
Although the findings of the report were not made public during the brief ceremony at the Government House, Adegboruwa stated that following the Lekki Toll Gate investigation, the panel’s report “ answered these questions truthfully, frankly and courageously, based on the evidence led before it, believing that the crimes against humanity that took place at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, would never happen again in our nation.”
Upon receiving the report, Sanwo-olu thanked the panel, lawyers and newsmen for a job well done.
The governor promised to set up a four-man committee chaired by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, to come up with a White Paper on the report in two weeks.
He also said he will send the report to the National Economic Council for implementation.
But Adegboruwa stated that “it will be unfair and improper for Lagos State to be a judge in its own cause, by seeking to review the report of the Panel.”
The lawyer however warned that he would make full disclosures on the report if the state government attempts to do a cover up.
“I will however keep observing the turn of events and at the appropriate time, one may be forced to state the FULL contents of the report if the promises made are not fulfilled.
“I can NEVER and will NEVER subscribe to anything that would amount to covering up the report of the Panel,” he stated.
Recall that the Panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to investigate human rights abuses by some police officers.
Its terms of reference were later expanded to cover the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had insisted that there was no massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate, and that the military did not shoot at EndSARs protesters.