#EndSARS: Again, Lagos Panel Gets Three-Month Extension

File photo: Lagos Judicial Panel

 

The tenure of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters has again been extended for another three months.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi stated this while hearing petitions on Friday.

This means that the panel will now sit until October 19, a day before the October 20, 2020 shootings at the Lekki toll gate.

Recall that the Lagos State judicial panel was inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on October 27, 2020.

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The panel was set up to last for a period of six-month in response to the government acceding to the five-for-five demands of the #EndSARS protesters with a mandate to look into abuses by security agencies and the now-disbanded SARS unit of the Nigeria police force and to make recommendations to the authorities for restitution to victims of abuses.

The initial six months sitting of the Lagos panel expired on April 27, 2021, and the panel was granted a three-month tenure extension which is supposed to expire on Monday, July 19 but as of June 29, the panel had sat for 97 days and only heard 126 petitions out of the 235 petitions it received.

Since the commencement of the hearing, 37 had been concluded while 109 petitions remained unheard necessitating the request for an extension of time.

At Friday’s sitting, the panel heard eleven petitions. It reserved its decision in six petitions after counsel in the matters adopted their final written addresses.

Lagos Panel Admits Autopsy Reports Of 99 Corpses Recovered On October 2020

 

The Lagos Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS and other related abuses has admitted in evidence post mortem results and Compact Discs of all 99 corpses deposited at the Lagos morgue between the 20th and the 27th of October 2020.

A consultant pathologist to the Lagos State Government, Professor John Obafunwa, who is testifying before the panel on Saturday brought the results following an order made on June 5, 2021, for it to be produced.

The documents were contained in two nylon bags – blue and white.

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The Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi admitted the documents in evidence after the counsel to some EndSARS protesters, Yinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN) moved for the documents to be admitted.

There was no objection from other parties before the panel.

The Lagos Judicial panel receives the documents which were contained in two nylon bags- blue and white.

Earlier at the June 5 sitting of the panel, the Chairman, Justice Okuwobi had ordered Professor Obafunwa to bring before the panel the post mortem reports conducted on all 99 bodies said to have been picked from different parts of Lagos between the 20th and 27th of Oct, 2020.

The Chairman of the panel made the order after the pathologist testified that the coroner’s office conducted post mortem autopsies on 99 bodies during the period.

He had also testified that of the 99, only three bodies were labelled as #EndSARS Lekki. The identities of all three male victims still remain unknown.

#EndSARS: Kaduna Panel Ends Public Hearing With 69 Petitions

A group of #ENDSARS protesters.

 

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate police brutality and other related extra-judicial killings in the state has ended its public hearing after it entertained a total of 69 petitions from individuals and organisations.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice David Wyom (rtd), who disclosed this at the end of its sitting in the state capital on Friday, said that some of the petitions that bothered on human rights violations were cases that were pathetic and avoidable.

He further explained that some of the petitions were either withdrawn or struck out by the panel.

Wyom further stated that having concluded the public hearing, the panel will now commence compilation of reports of each of the petitions and recommendations after which it will be submitted to the state government for implementation.

FG Now Receiving Reports From #EndSARS Panels

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

The National Economic Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has begun to receive reports from State judicial panels on #EndSARS.

The panels were set up by State Governors to resolve issues of police brutality after the #EndSARS protests that consumed the nation last year.

The NEC, during its 117th meeting held virtually on Thursday, said it will now convene a special session to review the panels’ reports.

“It will be recalled that the judicial panels were recommended after adoption of a resolution by NEC to address nationwide complaints of police brutality after the President dissolved the Police SARS unit,” a statement signed by spokesperson to the Vice-President, Mr Laolu Akande, said.

“Almost all States in the Federation set up the panels including the Federal Capital Territory.

“The Vice President at today’s meeting announced that a special session of NEC will soon be convened to consider all the reports that are ready from the judicial panels set up late last year to address the concerns of the Nigerian people on police brutality allegations and other related issues.

“That meeting would also consider the implementation of the reports including remedies, redress and compensations.”

 

Read Mr Akande’s complete Thursday’s statement below:

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

NEC NOW RECEIVING REPORTS FROM STATE JUDICIAL PANELS ON ENDSARS

*To convene Council session soon on implementation

*VP Osinbajo inaugurates 26-member National Road Safety Advisory Council

As judicial panels set up by State Governors to resolve issues of police brutality and related concerns across the country round up their assignments, the National Economic Council (NEC) is set to convene a special session to review reports of the panels that have now started coming to the Council.

This is among resolutions and conclusions reached today at the Council’s 117th meeting held virtually and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN with State governors, federal ministers, the Central Bank Governor and other top government officials in attendance.

It will be recalled that the judicial panels were recommended after adoption of a resolution by NEC to address nationwide complaints of police brutality after the President dissolved the Police SARS unit. Almost all States in the Federation set up the panels including the Federal Capital Territory.

The Vice President at today’s meeting announced that a special session of NEC will soon be convened to consider all the reports that are ready from the judicial panels set up late last year to address the concerns of the Nigerian people on police brutality allegations and other related issues. That meeting would also consider the implementation of the reports including remedies, redress and compensations.

Also at the meeting, the VP inaugurated the National Road Safety Advisory Council as a demonstration of government’s continued commitment to addressing the challenges of road safety in the country. The Advisory Council is a critical aspect of the updated National Road Safety Strategy adopted by NEC and approved by the Federal Executive Council late last year.

The Road Safety Advisory Council is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi as Secretary. Other members of the 29-member Advisory Council include:
Six governors representing the six geo-political zones as follows:

1.Chief Willie Obiano, FCA, Governor of Anambra State, representing the South-East zone.

2.Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, representing the South-South zone.

3.Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, representing the South-West zone.

4.Alh. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Governor of Gombe State representing the North-East zone.

5.Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State representing North-West.

6.Mr. Abdulrahman AbdulRasaq, Governor of Kwara State, representing the North-Central zone.

7.Secretary to the Government of the Federation – Member

8.Honourable of Ministry of Transport – Member

9.Honourable Minister of Works – Member

10.Honourable Minister of Health – Member

11.Honourable Minister of Justice – Member

12.Honourable Minister of Education – Member

13.Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning – Member

14.Honourable Minister of Environment – Member

15.Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment – Member

16.Honourable Minister of Police Affairs – Member

17.Honourable Minister of Interior – Member

18.Honourable Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning – Member

19. Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory – Member

20.National Security Adviser – Member

21.President, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) – Member

22.President, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) – Member

23.President, Nigerian Society of Engineers – Member

24.Board Chairman, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) – Member

Today’s Council meeting also received a report from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC on the issue of the terminated “Strategic Alliance Agreements” with solution options. Deliberations on this will continue at another meeting of the Council, it was resolved so as to give members the opportunity to properly review and consider the presentation from the NNPC.

The Council also received a presentation from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, on the establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) to address the problem of sexual and gender-based violence.

She said the Centres which will operate as One-Stop-Shops will help to limit the physical and mental health consequences of rape and sexual assault by providing free, accessible, multi-agency, forensically secured service for survivors.

According to the Minister, “sexual assault can have a devastating impact on every aspect of survivor’s lives which can make them vulnerable to further episodes of sexual abuse or violence. There can be long-term physical and psychological impacts and this includes post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, inability to sleep, etc. People who have experienced sexual assault have three main care needs: medical care; psychosocial care and assistance; and support from the criminal justice system.”

Some other highlights:

FINANCIAL UPDATES:

The Honorable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning gave the Council an update on the under listed accounts balances as follows:

1. EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA)

Balance as at 16 June 2021 – $60,850,975.92

2. STABILIZATION ACCOUNT

Balance as at 16th June, 2021 – N 24,802,716,416.22

3. DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ACCOUNT

Balance as at 16th June, 2021 – N28,215,689,963.31.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
17th June 2021

 

#EndSARS: Autopsy Conducted On 99 bodies, Three From Lekki Toll Gate – Pathologist

 

A consultant anatomic and forensic pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa on Saturday told the Lagos state judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters, that the coroners office conducted post mortem autopsies on 99 bodies between the October 20 and 27.

Prof Obafunwa made this disclosure while testifying with a view to assist the panel in its investigation of the October 20 Lekki toll gate shootings.

The pathologist, who was involved in coroner services through the office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, said the 99 bodies were picked up from different locations by officers of the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit, LASEHMU.

Of these 99 bodies, the pathologist said that only three were identified as victims of the Lekki shootings.

He proceeded to speak to the post mortem report and the cause of death of each of the three victims, all male.

The witness also played a video evidence detailing the extent of injury suffered by the deceased and the cause of death.

According to the witness, the first body of an unknown victim simply identified as number 005, EndSARS/Yaba/2020 and brought in from Lekki bridge, on October 24 by the Lagos state government agency showed a fracture, a laceration on the left side of the skull and a body that was already decomposing.

The pathologist gave the cause of death as “a result of bleeding into the chest cavity, following a blunt force trauma to the chest.”

According to the witness, the second body , “041 unknown identity”, was said to have died at about 1.45am on October 21; he was taken to Reddington hospital Lekki in an unconscious state as a result of open skull fracture, an attempt to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead after which he was taken to LASUTH on November 1 for post mortem.

“X-ray conducted prior to touching the body showed no bullet or pellets in the body,” the witness said. “The x-ray revealed multiple skull fracture. Autopsy showed there was a ragged laceration running from the left side to the right side of the skull, further exploration of the wound showed bleeding into the scalp, multiple fracture of the skull, bleeding into the brain tissue. In the chest, there was bruises of the anterior, fracture of the left rib.

“Generally the internal organs were pale and it suggested there was severe blood loss. Hypertensive heart disease, upon examination under the microscope and samples for DNA, death was as a result of skull and brain injury which was due to blunt force trauma.”

The third case, identified as “062 unknown identity”, was also said to have died at Lekki tollgate. The body was said to have been taken to the General Hospital Yaba and autopsy was conducted on November 2. Cause of death was said to be severe blood loss as a result of disruption of major blood vessel, caused as a result of gun shot injury.

Counsel to some of the #EndSars Protesters, Olumide Fusika, however faulted the testimony that only three of the 99 bodies were related to the Lekki shootings.

He made an application that the witness be required to produce details of all 99 bodies to enable him fully conduct his cross examination of the pathologist.

Counsel to the Lagos State Government, Olukayode Enitan objected to the granting of the application.

He noted that the summons which commanded the attendance of the witness at the panel required him to give reports of incidents of October 20, which occurred at the Lekki toll gate with a view to assisting the panel.

For him, anything outside this will amounted to inviting the panel to go beyond its terms of reference and the instruments setting it up and this will be tantamount to acting ultra vires. He urged the panel to refuse the application.

After taking submissions from other lawyers in the matter, the panel chairman, Justice Doris Okuwobi noted that though it would take a lot of the panel’s time to sit through looking at 96 more bodies, she would bow to the majority decision of the lawyers.

The panel then ordered the pathologist, Prof Obafunwa to produce the records and autopsy reports of the remaining 96 bodies.

Further proceedings on the matter were adjourned to June 19.

#EndSARS: Odi-Olowo LCDA Chairman, Rasaq Ajala Appears Before Lagos Panel

 

The Chairman of Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, Hon. Rasaq Ajala has appeared before the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS following a summons issued on him.

He was summoned by the panel to assist with information in the petition filed by the family of late Ayuub Azeez, a 21-year-old generator technician who was allegedly killed in October 2020 by men of the Olosan police station in the Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye LCDA in Mushin.

The chairman of the LCDA who testified as a witness on Tuesday told the panel that the father of the deceased reported the incident to him and sought his help to retrieve the body which was said to have been carried away by the policemen.

Hon Ajala said all efforts he made to reach the DPO of the police station were not successful.

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An altercation ensued when the petitioners’ lawyer, Bernard Onigah confronted the LCDA Chairman with a viral video supposedly showing the deceased being carried away by men believed to be from the Olosan police station after he was shot dead.

“The road leads to Olumorokun, Agege Motor Road, Ladipo, Ayotuga. That is where the road leads to,” the Chairman told the Panel.

The Chairman of Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, Hon. Rasaq Ajala

 

When asked if the scene of the alleged assault leads to the Olosan police station where some police officers reportedly shot the victim came from, the Chairman refused to answer the petitioners’ lawyer.

He added, “I will not answer that question. Please let me answer the question. I said the road leads to Olumorokun, Agege Motor Road, Ladipo. Olosan is located along Olumorokun.”

He kept mute when repeatedly asked if the road leads to the Olosan Police Station, a situation that led to a faceoff between him and Onigah.

Speaking further, Ajala insisted that he has answered the question earlier asked. Apparently, his response did not go down well.

 

#EndSARS: Two Victims Of Police Brutality Receive N11m Compensation

Chairman of the Lagos State Judicial Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, hands over a cheque to Bolanle Amudalat Kareem and her lawyer, Aderemi Aka on May 15, 2021.
Chairman of the Lagos State Judicial Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, hands over a cheque to Bolanle Amudalat Kareem and her lawyer, Aderemi Aka on May 15, 2021.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS has again given out cheques to more victims of police brutality.

At the panel’s sitting on Saturday, two victims were awarded the sum of N11 million as compensation.

With the new compensations, the panel has now given out a total sum of N68. 25 million to 12 petitioners.

In the petition of late Rasheed Olanrewaju Kareem, his widow was awarded the sum of N10m for the extra judicial killing.

The brother of the deceased, Olalekan Bankole, who testified on February 16, had said that the deceased was shot in the head by police officers from the Area C Command in Surulere.

The incident was said to have occurred on October 21, 2020 during the #EndSARS protests.

The panel found that the police authorities failed to investigate the unjustified shooting of unarmed persons at the Tejuosho and Aralile areas of Surulere in Lagos, as well as the extrajudicial killing of the deceased and other persons.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi recommended that “the Nigeria Police Force carries out an independent investigation into the sporadic and deliberate shooting, in order to confirm who carried out the shooting” and prosecute them accordingly.

In the petition of Yinka Austin Adebayo, the panel awarded him the sum of N1 million naira as compensation for the unlawful arrest, brutality and torture meted on him by police operatives between September 28 and 30, 2017.

In reaching its decision, the panel found that on the totality of evidence adduced by the petitioner, the Petitioner’s evidence was undefended, strong and uncontroverted by the Police.

It was also corroborated by the evidence of the second witness as proof that Mr Austin’s rights were infringed upon unjustifiably, having being cleared by the DPO of the Ojo Police Command in Lagos of committing any crime, yet he was still transferred to the SARS unit at Ikeja.

The panel frowned at the illegal confiscation of his car and further held that he was entitled to compensation in the sum of N1m for the violation of his personal liberty and degrading treatment meted to him

Lagos Panel Shown Live Bullet Extracted From Victim Of Extra-Judicial Killing

Petitioners counsel, Adebola Lemo holds the bullet after the Chief Medical Examiner tendered it before the Lagos Judicial Panel on May 11, 2021.

 

 

The acting Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Dr.  Sunday Soyemi today testified before the judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses.

He showed the panel a bullet he extracted from a victim of an extrajudicial killing, Charles Otoo.

At a previous proceeding, the panel had summoned the doctor to shed more light on the cause of death of the late Charles Otoo.

In a petition put before the panel by his widow, Victoria, the late Charles was said to have been shot on Oct 21, 2020, at about 6 pm by men of the Nigerian Police Force, Divisional Headquarters, Ojodu.

According to the widow, a policewoman simply identified as Chinyere allegedly shot the gun which hit the late Charles Otoo by the side of his head. He reportedly lost a lot of blood and eventually died at about 8 pm at the hospital where he was rushed.

At the proceedings today, Dr Soyemi, a lecturer in the college of medicine, Lasuth and a pathologist of 17 years, testified that “the cause of death was a severe injury to the brain following a gunshot to the skull”.

The pathologist who also signed the post mortem report of the deceased showed the panel the bullet he extracted from the late Charles Otto in the course of examining him.

He said the bullet would still need to undergo ballistic examination before the coroner’s court.

After sighting the bullet, the panel admitted photographs of it in evidence and returned the bullet back to the doctor to enable it to undergo the necessary examinations and analysis.

The panel also admitted the post mortem report as evidence.

The panel then listened to a police witness who testified that contrary to the evidence of Mrs Victoria Otoo, the police had nothing to do with the death of the late Charles.

The police witness, Lukeman Sowemimo, who claimed he was the station officer at the Ojodu police station at the time denied that his station had any female officer named Chinyere.

He narrated how some #EndSARS protesters allegedly set part of the police station ablaze on the 22nd of Oct., 2020 but insisted that the officers stayed back in the station to protect it and themselves and did not go out for any patrol.

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When shown the bullet brought by the pathologist, and asked if he could identify it, the witness said from his experience, the bullet came from a pistol.”

“The difference between a pistol and a rifle is that pistol can only kill at a close range while a rifle can kill from any distance. I am not a ballistician, but with my experience as a mobile man, if I see pistol ammunition, I can differentiate it from an AK 47 ammunition,” he said.

Under cross-examination by counsel to the petitioner, Mr Adebola Lema, the witness admitted that police officers sometimes carry pistols.

On the question of the maximum range of an AK 47 when shot? The witness put the range at 40metres and said that even at that range it can still do maximum damage if it hits someone.

On further cross-examination by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), the counsel asked the witness; “We had a General (from the Nigerian Army) testify before the panel that the AK 47 could cause damage even up to 350m? Do you agree?

The witness answered in the affirmative.

The Petitioner’s counsel, Adebola Lema has adopted his final written address and asked the panel to take note of the inconsistency in the answer given by the witness as to the maximum range of the Ak 47.

 

 

 

 

Lagos Panel Awards ₦13.5m Compensation To Three Victims Of Police Brutality

Justice Doris Okuwobi and other members of the Lagos Judicial panel during a sitting on April 30, 2021.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses has awarded the sum of ₦13.5m to 3 victims of police brutality.

A 34-year-old trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe was awarded the sum of ₦7.5m for the harrowing ordeal meted on him by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Ekekwe, who had shops at Alaba International Market where he sold accessories and other general items, had told the panel that he was arrested on February 16, 2018, for crimes he did not commit.

He also told the panel that he “was tortured, brutalised and thrown down the two-storey building of the shopping complex which housed his shops.

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In reaching its decision on his petition, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi held that there was a clear violation of his fundamental rights as guaranteed under Section 34 of the constitution.

The panel also recommended that the police investigate and fish out its officers who brutalised Ekekwe with a view to sanctioning them accordingly.

In his immediate reaction, Ekekwe expressed displeasure with the amount awarded by the panel. He and his mother who had been taking care of him since the incident happened lamented that they had spent over N30m at the hospitals and wondered what they would do with the “mere ₦7.5m awarded by the panel”.

Two other petitioners, Andrew Okoh and Isaac Adeshina who suffered grievous body harm after they were shot in the leg by a police officer were compensated with the sum of ₦3m each.

#EndSARS: Ogun Panel Treats 58 Petitions, To Submit Report

A file photo of youths gathered at one of the venues of the #EndSARS to condemn police brutality in the country in October 2020. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)

 

The Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations, and Extra-Judicial Killings has concluded its sitting six months after it held its inaugural session.

A total of 58 petitions out of the over 100 complaints received were treated in the course of the panel’s sittings at the Magistrate Court 1 in the Isabo area of Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi, announced the completion of the committee’s sitting while briefing reporters in Abeokuta at the end of the six-month period.

“The panel received a total of 106 petitions, out of which 58 were treated and the remaining 48 were either withdrawn, rejected, or abandoned wholly or halfway by the petitioners,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the media officer of the panel, Femi Osipitan.

Justice Olugbemi explained that some of the petitions were rejected because they were not in line with the terms of reference that the panel was given by the state government.

He, however, assured all petitioners and respondents of justice without fear or favour, saying the panel’s report was ready for submission to the state government.

The chairman of the panel stated that after submission, it would be left for the government to implement the report or not.

“Although the panel encountered some logistics challenges, it was able to surmount them,” he said of some of the hurdles faced by the panel.

The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, inaugurated the members of the panel on October 19, 2020, and gave them six months to receive and investigate petitions from members of the public whose human rights have been violated and abused by security personnel within the state.

He also asked the panel to make appropriate recommendations to the state government.

#EndSARS: Witness Plays Video That Claims Army Shot Protesters At Lekki Toll Gate

 

The Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses resumed sitting on Saturday with the continuation of the testimony of an EndSARs co-ordinator, Serah Ibrahim.

Serah came along with several videos, some of which she said she shot personally with her iPhone.

One after the other, she played the videos which according to her demonstrates that soldiers shot at peaceful protesters on the night of October 20.

As she played the videos, she explained to the panel that soldiers shot at the harmless protesters and even took away some of the dead bodies.

READ ALSO: #EndSars Coordinator Submits Flash Drives As Evidence To Lagos Panel

She specifically mentioned that one of the active protesters, Lekan Sanusi was thought to be dead and the soldiers took away his body.

She later found out that he was taken to MRS Hospital at Bonny camp where an unidentified nurse helped him to escape.

Serah also played videos of some persons who suffered gunshot wounds from bullets allegedly shot by the military with protesters surrounding them and trying to tend to their wounds.

When asked if she could authenticate the videos as to the time they were taken and the location, she mentioned that anyone could do this using Google Drive and she proceeded to demonstrate how it could be done.

The videos of two mothers who claimed to have lost their children at the protest ground were also played.

The videos were contained in the flash drive Serah Ibrahim tendered at the last sitting of the panel.

Serah is expected to continue her testimony on May 15.

Lekki Toll Gate Shooting

Serah’s testimony is the latest development in the controversy that has trailed the events at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20.

The army has repeatedly denied that it fatally shot at protesters and the Federal Government has said reports of a massacre at the toll gate was fake news.

“The purveyors of fake news and disinformation succeeded in deceiving the entire world that there was mass killing in Lekki, even when till date, not a single body has been produced and not a single family or relative has come out to say their child or ward was killed at Lekki toll gate,” Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said at a press briefing in November.

But witnesses, including Nigerian songwriter and musician, Obianuju Udeh, better known as DJ Switch, have insisted that the army took away bodies at the protest ground.

Amnesty International reported that 10 persons died during the event, a figure disputed by the Nigerian government.

The US government, in a human rights report released in March, said “accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available” as at the end of 2020.

The EndSARS protests were one of the largest street demonstrations since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.

The protests, mostly championed by young people, started as a campaign against police brutality but quickly metamorphosed into a rallying cry against bad governance.

#EndSARS: Mother Of Six Asks Panel To Help Locate Missing Husband

FILE: Members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution at a sitting on March 30, 2021

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution of Victims for SARS and other related matters resumed its sitting on Saturday.

During the sitting, a trader, Mrs Gift Effiong, told the panel that she has been looking for her husband since he left home during the #EndSARS protests last year.

The witness detailed how she went from one police station to another searching for her husband, a search which also took her to prisons, hospitals and later mortuaries with no success.

READ ALSO: #EndSars Coordinator Submits Flash Drives As Evidence To Lagos Panel

The mother of six pleaded with the panel to help her find her husband.

She is also seeking help with the education of her children all of whom she said have now dropped out of school.

In yet another case, family members, relatives friends and neighbours are still looking for the missing body of Mr Paul Lucky, a driver and security officer at Jakande Estate, in the Ilasan/Ajah area.

On October 20, Mr Lucky reportedly had an altercation with a police officer, Sgt John Dagbo of the Ilasan police station, who allegedly shot him and took his body away.

A witness, Mr Olanrewaju Kazeem, the Community Development Association Chairman of Jakande Estate, Ilasan testified to the panel.

Till date the family is yet to recover the body and the panel has granted the petitioner’s request to summon the DPO of Ilasan police station, Mrs Onyinye Onwuamaegbu to help with its findings.

In the final petition for the day, a school teacher, Egwu Celestina Ebele, told the panel about the phone call she received in December 2008 informing her that her husband was shot by a police officer on his way to work, hours after he dropped her off.

The panel adjourned all of the cases to next month.