Lekki toll gate: Nigerian authorities rejects report on capturing as ‘faux information’

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Data Minister Lai Mohammed Tuesday mentioned the panel’s report, which was leaked and broadly shared on social media final week, was “nothing however the triumph of faux information.”

Talking at a press convention within the nation’s capital Abuja, Mohammed doubled down on the federal government’s persistent denial of the Lekki capturing, saying: “That report is nothing however the triumph of faux information and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.”

The minister additionally criticized CNN for “celebrating” the report in a “rush to say vindication.”

Nevertheless, a member of the panel Segun Awosanya advised CNN Wednesday that the panel’s findings have been based mostly on objectivity and information.

He added that the minister’s remark was improper coming at a time the nation was nonetheless therapeutic from the Lekki incident.

Nigerian judicial panel condemns 2020 Lekki toll gate shooting as 'a massacre'

“No matter it’s that Alhaji Lai Mohammed had mentioned at his press convention … is just not the right method that such a problem ought to be addressed in a nation that desires therapeutic, justice and needs to win the belief of the general public,” Awosanya mentioned, including that “the panel labored objectively and surgically … in the direction of guaranteeing that the reality and the information are allowed to look, and we gave our suggestions based mostly on that.”

Reacting to Mohammed’s declare that the leaked report “can’t be relied upon as a result of its authenticity is doubtful,” Awosanya advised CNN that arduous copies of the report had been despatched to the Lagos authorities.

“The report is just not a public doc. A leak or no leak should not be the issue of the federal government… What issues to us is that we submitted laborious copies to the federal government, and the federal government has promised to reply to it in two weeks via a white paper and make the identical public. We wrote the report, we put it collectively and we’ve a consensus on it,” he mentioned.

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution on the Lagos Court docket of Arbitration had documented in its year-long report that the capturing of younger protesters who have been protesting peacefully in opposition to alleged police brutality by Nigerian safety forces on the Lekki toll gate, may very well be thought of a “bloodbath.”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken referred to as for motion as soon as the panel’s report has been launched formally. “There could also be reforms which can be obligatory” to make sure the same occasion is just not repeated, he mentioned.

“If there are people that, because it emerges from this report, are accountable for committing abuses, there must be accountability by way of these people,” he advised CNN.

A Nigerian authorities narration of the incident has lengthy denied that protesters have been shot on the toll gate, regardless of video proof and a number of witness accounts collated by CNN.

Mohammed’s rejection of the report got here every week after the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu mentioned his authorities would implement the panel’s suggestions, in keeping with native media.
'He died in my arms.' Twelve months on, a mother's agonizing wait to find out why her son died at Lekki toll gate
A press release launched by the Lagos authorities additionally quoted the chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, to have mentioned round 70 victims of police brutality have been awarded a complete of 410 million naira (round $1 million) as compensation.
The panel’s report was welcomed by Amnesty Worldwide, which famous that “the panel’s findings reveal the reality about what occurred at Lekki toll gate and contradict the blatant denial by the Nigerian authorities that lethal power was used in opposition to peaceable #EndSARS protesters.”
The US Mission in Nigeria additionally welcomed the conclusion of the panel’s sittings, stating that it appears ahead to the Lagos authorities’s response.
President Muhammadu Buhari had not too long ago advised Blinken, throughout an official go to in Abuja that the Nigerian authorities will anticipate pronouncements from panels arrange by different states to analyze police brutality within the nation earlier than taking additional steps.