Chief of defence staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor says the Nigerian armed forces are committed to their constitutional mandate and do not engage in ignoble acts, following the report by the Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry on #EndSARS protest and police brutality.
The panel led by Justice Doris Okwuobi submitted its report to the Lagos State Government on Monday, indicting the military.
It said the shooting of “unarmed helpless and defenceless protesters, without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the National Anthem” at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, is a “massacre in context”.
However, during a courtesy visit to Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki in Benin on Tuesday, Irabor said he would not comment on it until the government releases a white paper on the panel’s report.
“Whether it is a true report, I can’t tell. But I’d like to indicate that the normal procedure is to have such a report submitted to the convening authority. And then there will be a white paper that will be presented, based on which one can make informed comments,” he said.
“But whatever it is currently, I would like to indicate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional armed force. We are peopled by Nigerians and we remain committed to the constitutional mandate. So we will not at this point think that Nigerians should make disparaging remarks regarding the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in the sense that we are professional armed forces. If there are issues, of course, we address them within the ambit of the provisions.
“It would not be right to disparage men and women who have worked so hard to ensure that the territorial integrity of this nation is kept intact.”