Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry on restitution for victims of police brutality says its investigation revealed nine persons were killed at Lekki toll gate when soldiers stormed the area on October 20, 2020 to disperse #EndSARS protesters.
The panel headed by Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd) stated this in its 309-page report submitted to the Lagos State Government on Monday.
According to the panel, at least 48 protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullet wounds or assaulted by soldiers. Nine protesters were confirmed dead, while four were presumed dead.
Among the 48 listed as victims of the incident, the panel said about 20 sustained gunshot injuries, while 13 others were assaulted by the military.
It identified those killed as Victor Ibanga, Abuta Solomon, Jide, Olalekan Ashafa, Olamilekan Ajasa, Kolade Salami, Folorunsho Olabisi, Kenechukwu Ugoh and Nathaniel Solomon.
Those presumed dead are Abiodun Adesanya, Ifeanyi Eji, Tola and Wisdom.
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 panel also noted that 96 other corpses were presented by a forensic pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof John Obafunwa.
It also found that the firing of live bullets by the army at protesters was “unwarranted, excessive, provocative and unjustifiable.”
Its recommendations include “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.”
The panel said the divisional police officer of the Maroko Police Station along with policemen deployed from the 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.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had said while receiving the panel’s report on Monday that he would set up a four-member committee to raise a white paper on the report.