Lekki toll gate: Nigerian government rejects report on shooting as ‘fake news’

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Info Minister Lai Mohammed Tuesday mentioned the panel’s report, which was leaked and extensively 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 taking pictures, 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 assert vindication.”

Nevertheless, a member of the panel Segun Awosanya advised CNN Wednesday that the panel’s findings had been primarily based on objectivity and details.

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 … shouldn’t be the correct method that such a difficulty must be addressed in a nation that wishes therapeutic, justice and needs to win the belief of the general public,” Awosanya mentioned, including that “the panel labored objectively and surgically … in direction of guaranteeing that the reality and the details are allowed to seem, and we gave our suggestions primarily based on that.”

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

“The report shouldn’t be 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 onerous copies to the federal government, and the federal government has promised to answer it in two weeks by way of a white paper and make the identical public. We wrote the report, we put it collectively and we now have 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 taking pictures of younger protesters who had been protesting peacefully towards alleged police brutality by Nigerian safety forces on the Lekki toll gate, might 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 essential” to make sure an analogous occasion shouldn’t be repeated, he mentioned.

“If there are people that, because it emerges from this report, are liable for committing abuses, there must be accountability when it comes to these people,” he advised CNN.

A Nigerian authorities narration of the incident has lengthy denied that protesters had 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, according to local 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 statement 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 pressure was used towards peaceable #EndSARS protesters.”
The US Mission in Nigeria also welcomed the conclusion of the panel’s sittings, stating that it appears ahead to the Lagos authorities’s response.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently told Blinken, throughout an official go to in Abuja that the Nigerian authorities will look forward to pronouncements from panels arrange by different states to analyze police brutality within the nation earlier than taking additional steps.

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