EndSARS: Lagos govt releases white paper, rejects panel’s report on 9 deaths

The Lagos State government on Tuesday, released the white paper on the report submitted by the judicial panel set up to investigate cases of police brutality in the State.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement confirmed the release of the white paper.

This comes two weeks after a four-member white-paper committee was set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, following the submission of the panel’s report.

The panel submitted two reports on November 15, 2021 — one on police brutality cases and another on the Lekki incident investigation.

However, according to the white paper, the Lagos government has said that not all the recommendations in the report would be accepted.

“Lagos State Government accepts 11 out of the 32 recommendations made by the JPI in its report of 15th November, 2021, rejected one (1) and accepted 6 (six) with modifications.

“Fourteen (14) recommendations fall outside the powers of Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration,” the document reads.

On the deaths recorded in the judicial panel report, the white-paper committee noted that the details in the document are not enough, to conclude that the victims listed in the panel’s report were killed at the Lekki tollgate.

It added: “This finding of nine (9) deaths at LTG on 20 October is even more baffling because apart from listing out their names in that 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,” the committee said.

“On the basis of the above fundamental inconsistencies in the findings, the JPI regarding the nine (9) deaths at LTG, and particularly because the findings are clearly and mainly not supported by evidence before the JPI as attested to by the JPI itself, when it said there was no contrary evidence to that of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died at LTG of gunshot wounds at LTG on 20th October 2020, the Government is, therefore, unable to accept the finding that nine people died of gunshot wounds at LTG on 20th October 2020.”

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