The government of Lagos State under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has on Tuesday night, released its White Paper on the EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry report,
The White Paper faulted the Panel’s report that 9 persons were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate when Soldiers and Policemen stormed the protest ground to disperse the protesters.
Part of the White Paper reads: “The JPI’s finding of nine deaths is therefore irreconcilable with the evidence of Prof. Obafunwa, that only one person died of gunshot wounds at 7:43pm, at Lekki Toll Gate, on 21st October, 2020.
“Having held that, there was no evidence before it to the contrary of what Prof. Obafunwa said. The question is, where did JPI then get its finding of nine deaths?
“This finding of nine deaths at LTG on 20th October, 2020, is even more baffling, because apart from listing out their names in tabular form at pages 297-298, the JPI offered no explanation regarding circumstances of their death. The names simply sprang up at pages 297-298 of the report without any justification.
“It is quite astonishing that in the list of 11 deaths set out at pages 297-298, two (2) of the names appeared twice (Kolade Salami and Folorunsho Olabisi as Nos. 37 and 38). Furthermore, the person listed as No. 46 Nathaniel Solomon who testified as a witness and petitioned the JPI in respect of his brother who he alleged died at Lekki Tollgate (LTG), himself listed as having died at LTG on 20th October 2020.
“Remarkably, Nathaniel Solomon’s deceased brother (Abuta Solomon) was then also listed as No 2 on the list of persons who died at LTG.
“The only victim of gunshot injury from LTG was picked up at 7:43pm, on 21st October, 2020, after the curfew commenced. Furthermore, there was no shred of evidence regarding who shot him.
“Another substantial inconsistency in the JPI Report was the award of compensation to only one out of the alleged nine, listed as “deceased” which showed that the JPI itself had doubts as to the death of eight other allegedly deceased persons on its list.”
According to the government, 11 out of the 32 recommendations made by the Panel, have been accepted, 6 others were accepted, but with modifications, while 1 was rejected.
The document also stated that 14 of the recommendations fall outside the powers of the State, and will consequently be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.