Kingsley Moghalu, a former Presidential candidate on the platform of Young Progressives Party, has called on the Federal Government to prosecute all those who perpetrated killings during the #EndSARS protests.
He said this in a statement today, in the wake of the submission of the report by the panel that Lagos State Government set up to investigate the alleged murders at the Lekki Toll Plaza, last year.
In his words: “As I said when the news of the killings broke to the world, these are violations of international humanitarian law in addition to national laws. This was mass murder, and attempted mass murder, pure and simple. The perpetrators must not go free, and adequate restitution – which also is within the mandate of the judicial panel – must be made to all the protesters who were murdered in cold blood, injured or assaulted.”
Below is Moghalu’s statement in full:
Now that the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry has affirmed that peaceful Nigerian citizens protesting police brutality were massacred at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos a year ago, the individuals in the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force who gave the unlawful orders for the extra judicial killings – as well as those who pulled the trigger – must pay for their crimes with prosecution and imprisonment.
As I said when the news of the killings broke to the world, these are violations of international humanitarian law in addition to national laws. This was mass murder, and attempted mass murder, pure and simple. The perpetrators must not go free, and adequate restitution – which also is within the mandate of the judicial panel – must be made to all the protesters who were murdered in cold blood, injured or assaulted.
As a United Nations official in the mid-1990s, I trained Cambodian and Croatian security institutions in human rights standards to prevent the kind of extrajudicial killings and police brutality that occurred at Lekki and which the #EndSARS protests confronted. Nigeria has turned into a country marked by an increasing rise of official lawlessness, arbitrariness and repression of its citizens by agencies of the Government. This does not behove a country that claims to be a democracy. Root and branch reform of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force on respect for the human rights of Nigerian civilians remains urgently needed. It must not only be declared as done or as a rhetorical objective. It must be seen to have happened going forward.
President Muhammadu Buhari should take responsibility as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces for the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre. He must ensure and enforce accountability for this heinous crime by troops and other security agents under his ultimate command. At the very least, in addition to judicial accountability for the victims, he and his Government owe the families of the victims and Nigerians in general a formal and unreserved apology for this tragic occurrence.
I offer my heartfelt condolences once again to the families of the deceased victims of the Lekki Massacre. October 20, 2020 was a day that will live in infamy in the history of Nigeria. May the blood of our youth shed by those whose duty it was to protect their lives not have been spilled in vain. May this kind of tragedy never happen again in our land.
Kingsley Moghalu OON
I benefited greatly from Babalakin’s wise counsel, Obasanjo mourns
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that the late Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin was until his death and for many years, one of his consultation arrowheads and contact points.
He said that the late jurist was indeed a true senior brother, counsellor, mentor, friend and confidant that would be sorely missed by him.
The late Babalakin was the father of Dr Wale Babalakin, and one of the country’s eminent jurists, who died on Saturday at aged 94.
In a condolence letter to Babalakin’s junior, a copy made available to newsmen by Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said he so much valued the Hon. Justice “so very much for his wise and sagacious counsel,” declaring “he will be sorely missed by me.”
The letter reads, “I write, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, to express our deep sense of loss at the transition of your beloved father, Hon. Justice Bolarinwa Oyegoke Babalakin, one of the nation’s most eminent jurists. Although we are deeply saddened to hear of his transition, we are comforted by the knowledge that he lived a full, distinguished life of service and devotion to his community, his state, the nation and to humanity.
“We commiserate with you and the entire good people of Osun State and pray that Allah, in His mercy, will comfort you and other members of his family.
“Justice Babalakin will for long be remembered for his immense contribution to the building of this great nation, Nigeria. In all respects, he was a titan: a good man, an inspiring leader and a remarkable statesman whose intellect, integrity, hard work and vision impacted significantly on the legal profession. He served the nation in many challenging positions, notably as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from where he retired in 1992.
“In all of the positions he held, Justice Babalakin earned the respect and confidence of Nigerians and non-Nigerians by dint of hard work, professional excellence, devotion to duty and resourcefulness. Indeed, throughout his entire career in the Public Service, he demonstrated rare qualities of commitment and courage, always upholding the cherished traditions of the Public Service, and left behind a name that was thoroughly bathed in honour and dignity.
“Justice Babalakin’s name will live forever in the minds and hearts of those who experienced his warmth, generosity and guidance.
“As a community leader and a prominent patriot, Justice Babalakin earned the respect of his people, not only for the great commitment that he had for the progress of Gbogan, his hometown, and the rest of Osun State but also for his abiding faith in national unity.
“He exhibited very good leadership qualities, wisdom and wealth of experience which indeed he put to use in the discharge of his responsibility to his community and the nation as a whole. Until his death and for many years, he was one of my consultation arrowheads and contact points, majorly on the socio-political issues in Nigeria.
“He was indeed a true senior brother, counsellor, mentor, friend and confidant, who I valued so very much for his wise and sagacious counsel. He will be sorely missed by me.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that his death has robbed the nation of the services of a great patriot and public officer of sterling character but his service record will remain a noble challenge to subsequent generations to emulate.
“As you mourn the loss of your father, you can draw solace from knowing that he lived a fulfilled life and left behind a good name, lofty reputations and high standards. In all his life, he was a true follower of the tenets of Islam. I have no doubt, however, that you and the rest of the family will carry on from where he stopped especially in the areas of promotion of peace, justice, education and community development.
“I pray that Allah will grant him sweet repose, and you and other family members grace to bear the heavy and irreparable loss.”
Police declare SS3 student wanted for beating teacher to death in Delta
Delta State Police Command has declared wanted one Michael Ogbeife, an SS3 student of Erhimu Secondary School, Abraka in the State, for beating a teacher of the school, Joseph Ossai, to death.
Michael is said to be on the run after perpetrating the illicit act on Thursday.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Michael had on that fateful day engaged the teacher in a scuffle that resulted in the teacher giving up the ghost during the fight.
The deceased teacher, who was said to be in charge of Agricultural Science and Biology in the school until his demise, had reportedly flogged Michael’s younger sister, Promise Ogbeife who was involved in a dispute with her classmate.
It was gathered that Michael got infuriated by the teacher’s decision to flog his sister and the enraged SS3 student resorted to a fight with the teacher.
Sources said that Michael angrily left the school’s premises after his sister was flogged, and later returned back, heading straight to the staff room for a showdown with the teacher.
Some of our sources alleged that Michael had initially rushed home to get a charm before engaging the teacher in the fight.
It was gathered that the teacher collapsed after some punches from the student which left the teacher with a bleeding nose just as blood was also gushing out from his mouth.
Consequently, the teacher was rushed to a private hospital in the community, from where he was referred to the government hospital where he was confirmed dead on arrival.
Reacting to the gory incident, the proprietor of the school, Mr Erhimu, told journalists that he was awaiting full details of the matter, as he was not around when the incident happened.
The visibly worried proprietor has however directed that the school be shut till Monday noting that he had been to the police station over the matter.
Confirming the incident, the police public relations officer for Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe, told newsmen that the suspect is on the run.
“The suspect is nowhere to be found for now, but his sister is in protective custody”, the PPRO said just as he insisted that efforts are being intensified to arrest the fleeing suspect.