A lawyer, who represented #EndSARS protesters at the Lagos judicial panel, Adeshina Ogunlana, has called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State following the report of the panel.
Mr Ogunlana made the demand at a press conference in Ikeja, Lagos, after the submission of the report to Governor Sanwo-Olu.
He 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.”
The panel in its report stated that the Nigerian Army, Mr Sanwo-Olu, and the police were complicit in the death of protesters at the Lekki tollgate in 2020.
The 309-page report in its executive summary said: “The panel in its report found that on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki Toll Gate, officers of the Nigerian Army shot, injured and killed unarmed, helpless and defenceless protesters without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian flag and singing the national anthem and the manner of assault and killing could in context be described as a massacre.
Another part of the report read: “The panel found that there was an invitation of the Nigerian Army to Lagos State made by the Lagos State Government through the governor before the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army deployed its soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20.
“The panel found that there was an attempt to cover up the Incident of October 20, by the cleaning of the Lekki Toll Gate and the failure to preserve the scene ahead of potential investigations.”
Mr Ogunlana said the military couldn’t have acted without clearance from the president and “influence” of the Lagos governor.
“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 Muhamadu Buhari. We place the blame of the Lekki Massacre at the doorstep of General Buhari and demand his immediate resignation,” he said.
Mr Ogunlana wondered if Mr Sanwo-Olu can be absolved of the Lekki incident.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Ogunlana also questioned the governor’s “moral authority” to appoint and set up a white paper committee.
He said the governor intends to “sit as a judge over his own case.”
The lawyer demanded the immediate release of all young Nigerians arrested and “dumped in various prisons all over the country” during the #EndSARS protests and “comprehensive compensation for victims of police or army brutality during the endsars protest.
“Immediate recall of General Buratai (Retired), Former Chief of Army Staff and current Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin and his prosecution for his role in the Lekki Massacre,” he said.
“Immediate dismissal, arrest and prosecution of Lt. Col. S.O. Bello and Major General Godwin Umelo for their role in the Lekki Massacre as senior military officers.
“Immediate dismissal, arrest and prosecution of all other officers, (excluding Major General Omata, who halted the mindless carnage) and men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 20.
“Immediate dismissal, arrest and prosecution of Divisional Police Officer Maroko Police Station, CSP Raji along with policemen deployed from Mare Police Station on the 20 and 21st of October 2020 should be prosecuted for arbitrary and indiscriminate shooting and killing of protesters.”
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