From Fred Itua, Abuja
Sustainable Initiatives for Nurturing Growth (SING), has called for the prosecution key players involved in the 20th October, 2020 shooting at Lekki Toll Gate, during the nationwide #ENDSARS movement
The called by the body followed the submission of the report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry. It specifically demanded for prosecution of the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the commanding Officer of the 65 Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel S.O Bello and other officials behind the order that led to the now established “massacre” at the toll gate.
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In a statement signed by organisation’s communication manager, Victor Agi, he stated that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed should apologise to Nigerians for claiming that there were no killings at the Lekki incidence.
The statement read in part: “Beyond the paper indictment of authorities involved in the October 20, 2020, Lekki incidence, the government, in the interest of justice and fairness, should publicly prosecute all those that were part of the ill-fated incidence at the toll gate, also implementing all the recommendations by the Judicial Panel. We also demand that the identities of the person(s) who gave the order for the military attack and killing of peaceful protesters be made public and that they be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“May we use this opportunity to also remind the government and authorities that public offices are positions of trust, and that public confidence is built through honest communication. The claims by the federal government through the Ministry of Information and Culture that there were no shootings at Lekki, and that no Nigerian youth was killed during the unfortunate incidence, against available records by eyewitness and international observers, has been thrown out by this report.
“Continuing in this path would further erode trust and public confidence; it is hoped that the government would issue a public apology to Nigerian youths and victims of the Lekki shootings in order to pacify the wounds caused by government insistence on the contrary.”
While describing the report as “legal stamps on the already circulated evidences that authorities went overboard to interrupt citizens’ democratic and constitutional processes crudely”, the organisation noted that the submissions by the panel is a clear vindication of the position of unarmed Nigerian youths that they were shot at by officers of the Nigerian Army.
“To this extent, we reiterate our position and strongly condemn the gestapo actions of the Nigerian Army which the Judicial Panel confirmed were mobilised to the scene of the incident by the Lagos State Government,” Victor said.
The organisation said that it will continue to advocate and support government and stakeholders’ efforts at ensuring a peaceful society, “where democratic tenets are respected by both the leader and the led.”
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