Lekki Tollgate Report: Buhari, Sanwo-Olu killed protesters, they should resign immediately – CSOs

By Henry Okonkwo

Coalitions of civil society organisations active in the #EndSARS Movement have called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State following the report of the state’s judicial panel.

The coalition also called for the immediate resignation of the Minister of information, Lai Mohammed, “for his role in spreading lies and false information about the Lekki massacre.”

They further demanded the full implementation of the panel’s report, calling on the government to caution people trying to discredit the panel’s findings and recommendations.

This call was made in a statement issued on Monday and obtained by AF24NEWS after their joint press conference in Lagos.

Recall that the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the investigation of the alleged massacre at Lekki toll gate had in its report, affirmed that at least 46 unarmed protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullets, or assaulted by security forces at the Tollgate on October 20 last year.

According to the panel, nine persons were killed, while 33 others were shot at, wounded, and assaulted on the night of the incident.

Against this backdrop, the CSOs called for the immediate resignation and prosecution of all found to be culpable in the killing of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

Signatories to the coalition’s statement are Adesina Ogunlana, the lead counsel to #EndSARS Protesters, chairman of the Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association and co-convener of New Nigeria Network, and Gbenga Komolafe, the co-convener of the Coalition for Revolution and representative of #EndSARS United.

READ ALSO: Lekki Tollgate report:Panel members now under attack, Adegboruwa cries out

Others include Juwon Sanyaolu, National Coordinator, Take It Back Movement and Ayo Ademiluyi, Secretary of the Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association.

And their statement read in part, “We are quick to condemn the moves of the Military High Command to disparage the Panel Report.

“We demand that what the entire country is expecting from the Military High Command is to dismiss and prosecute all the military officers indicted by the Panel Report.

“President Buhari and Commander-in-chief Of Armed Forces stand culpable, he should resign immediately!

“We are convinced beyond doubt that the military personnel who carried out the massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate could not have acted without clearance from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired).

“Governor Sanwo-Olu stands indicted and should also resign.

“In the light of the Panel Report, the crucial question to ask is: can Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State be absolved of any portion of the blame in the events that led to the Lekki Massacre and its aftermath?

“We are of the candid view that while it may be argued that as Governor of a State, Mr Sanwo-olu does not have maximum control over military personnel up to the extent of the capacity of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the overwhelming evidence presented before the Panel and the findings of the Panel has shown that as the Chairman of the Lagos State Security Council, he influenced the processes that led to the dispatch of soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate to fire live bullets at unarmed and innocent protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate.

“We hold that he stands indicted and he should resign immediately.

“It can further be questioned whether our call for Mr Sanwo-Olu’s resignation is also a dismissal of trust in his White Paper Committee? Our answer is in the affirmative.

Reacting to dissenting voices now raising to query the integrity of the panel’s report, the coalition of CSOs appealed to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to call all agents of the state to order.

The coalition condemned the opposers of the report describing their comments as a ‘cacophony of opinions’, and ‘wall of lies constructed by apologists’.

“Lagos State Government should call its advocates and apologists to order.

“Meanwhile, the form and content of what the White Paper would contain is already being reflected in the utterances and speeches of its advocates and apologists.

“The duo of Messers Abiodun Owonikoko SAN and Olukayode Enitan, Counsel to Lagos State Government before the Panel in separate interviews with Arise TV News Channel and Channels TV has claimed that there are “40 errors” in the Report.

“We are of the view that in view of the evidence presented by the Lagos State Government before the Panel of Inquiry vis-à-vis the issues raised by the Panel, the Panel has found based on the invisible balance of evidence that there was a MASSACRE at the Lekki Toll Gate.

“While Lagos State Government is calling for restraints, it cannot set loose its hunting dogs.

“We do not need to remind the Lagos State Government that the Panel of Inquiry was constituted by the Lagos State Government itself and have on the Panel as Members, serving civil servants and Board representatives of the same Government.

“There is no Minority Report and the entire Panel Report was a unanimous Report.

“The Lagos State Government should call its wagging tongues to order as the Government itself has given itself 14 days to deliver a White Paper.

“We also call the attention of the Nigerian Bar Association and particularly the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) to the conduct of the duo of Messrs Abiodun Owoniko SAN and Olukayode Enitan SAN who have unceremoniously taken to “media trial” to ventilate their purported “grounds of appeal” against the Panel Report.

“As Senior Advocates of Nigeria, if they are so aggrieved by the Panel Report, they know what to do.”

 

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