At least nine persons were confirmed dead on the night soldiers stormed the Lekki toll plaza to disperse #EndSARS protesters during the October 20, 2020 nationwide demonstration against extrajudicial killings and police brutality by operatives of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, SARS.
The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters made this known in its report on Monday.
In the report submitted to the Lagos State Government – Titled, ‘Report of Lekki Incident Of 20th October 2020’, the panel said at least 48 protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullet wounds or assaulted by soldiers.
According to the report, nine protesters were confirmed dead, while four were presumed dead.
Among the 48, about 20 sustained gunshot injuries, while 13 others were assaulted by the military.
The report identified those killed as; Victor Sunday Ibanga, Abuta Solomon, Jide, Olalekan Abideen Ashafa, Olamilekan Ajasa, Kolade Salami, Folorunsho Olabisi, Kenechukwu Ugoh and Nathaniel Solomon.
It also listed Abiodun Adesanya, Ifeanyi Nicholas Eji, Tola and Wisdom.
Panel also noted that 96 other corpses were presented by a forensic pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof John Obafunwa.
According to the 309-page report, the protesters were allegedly killed by policemen and soldiers.
The report read in part, “The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters, while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags, while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a massacre in context.
“It was alleged and corroborated that the soldiers had their vans parked at the Lekki tollgate and removed as many bodies and corpses of the fallen protesters, which they took away with their vans.”
The report negates the consistent claim by the Federal Government that there was no massacre at the Lekki tollgate.
The panel recommended “disciplinary actions to the following officers (Lt. Col S. O. Bello and Major General Godwin Umelo), who refused to honour the summons of the panel in order to frustrate the investigation.
“All officers (excluding Major General Omata) and men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed in the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020 should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action, stripped of their status, and dismissed as they are not fit and proper to serve in any public or security service of the nation.”
It said the Divisional Police Officer of the Maroko Police Station along with policemen deployed from the Maroko Police Station on October 20 and 21, 2020 should be prosecuted for arbitrary and indiscriminate shooting and killing of protesters.
It recommended that the Lekki Toll Plaza be made a memorial site for the protest by renaming it the #EndSARS Tollgate
It recommended that October 20 of every year be made a “toll free day” at the plaza as long as the tollgate exists.
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