From Victor Osula, Abuja
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives led by Hon Ndudi Elemelu has said that the Federal Government’s earlier stand on the #End SARS protest has been torn to shreds by the disclosure in the Lagos EndSARS report.
The Justice Doris Okuwobi, rtd, led 8-member Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry On Restitution for Victims of SARS Abuses and Related Matters submitted its final report to the state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday.
The lawmakers in a statement signed by Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu on Thursday, the Caucus said the Lagos report has confirmed that there was indeed a massacre at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, despite the earlier denial of killings.
He said; “The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives, after a thorough review of the report of the Lagos State EndSARS judicial panel, holds that the attempt by officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to cover up the now confirmed massacre of Nigerians youths by security forces at the Lekki Tollgate suggests a high-level state-backed conspiracy against Nigerians.
“The confirmation by the Lagos Panel that there was indeed a massacre at the Lekki Tollgate during the 2020 EndSARS protests in Lagos and that APC government-controlled security forces carted away bodies and mopped up evidence, places a huge burden on the Federal Government which had vehemently denied any killings,” the statement read in part.
The caucus also faulted the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for “rushing to the media, ahead of the judicial panel, to insist that there were no killings at Lekki Tollgate, even in the face of testimonies of witnesses at the sad event.”
“Our caucus is however shocked that the administration can lie in a matter that has to do with the gruesome killing of citizens, particularly our youths, and even attempt to provide official cover to the culprits.
“As representatives of the people, the minority caucus holds that killing of our young ones for having the audacity to demand justice, rule of law, and good governance in our nation is the height of wickedness which will continue to haunt the APC and its administration until justice is served.”
It called on the APC-led Federal Government “not to cover up the vicious act,” but based on the findings of the Lagos panel, “the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is expected to resign immediately or be fired by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The caucus condoled with the families and victims of the those killed and commended the Lagos panel for “its boldness in the pursuit of truth and justice and urges other panels investigating allegations of brutality in other states not to be deterred but ensure that the truth is not suppressed.”