Lekki toll gate: Nigerian government rejects report on shooting as ‘fake news’

Info Minister Lai Mohammed Tuesday stated the panel’s report, which was dripped and extensively shared on social networks recently, was “nothing but the triumph of fake news.”

Speaking at an interview in the country’s capital Abuja, Mohammed doubled down on the federal government’s relentless rejection of the Lekki shooting, stating: “That report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.”

The minister likewise slammed CNN for “celebrating” the report in a “rush to claim vindication.”

Nevertheless, a member of the panel Segun Awosanya informed CNN Wednesday that the panel’s findings were based upon neutrality and realities.

He included that the minister’s remark was incorrect coming at a time the nation was still recovery from the Lekki occurrence.

Nigerian judicial panel condemns 2020 Lekki toll gate shooting as 'a massacre'

“Whatever it is that Alhaji Lai Mohammed had said at his press conference … is not the proper way that such an issue should be addressed in a nation that wants healing, justice and wants to win the trust of the public,” Awosanya stated, including that “the panel worked objectively and surgically … towards ensuring that the truth and the facts are allowed to appear, and we gave our recommendations based on that.”

Responding to Mohammed’s claim that the dripped report “cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt,” Awosanya informed CNN that paper copies of the report had actually been sent out to the Lagos federal government.

“The report is not a public document. A leak or no leak shouldn’t be the problem of the government… What matters to us is that we submitted hard copies to the government, and the government has promised to respond to it in two weeks through a white paper and make the same public. We wrote the report, we put it together and we have a consensus on it,” he stated.

The Judicial Panel of Query and Restitution at the Lagos Court of Arbitration had actually recorded in its year-long report that the shooting of young protesters who were opposing in harmony versus declared authorities cruelty by Nigerian security forces at the Lekki toll gate, might be thought about a “massacre.”

United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken required action once the panel’s report has actually been launched formally. “There may be reforms that are necessary” to guarantee a comparable occasion is not duplicated, he stated.

“If there are individuals that, as it emerges from this report, are responsible for committing abuses, there has to be accountability in terms of those individuals,” he informed CNN.

A Nigerian federal government narrative of the occurrence has long rejected that protesters were contended the toll gate, in spite of video proof and several witness accounts collected by CNN.

Mohammed’s rejection of the report came a week after the Lagos State Guv Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated his federal government would execute the panel’s suggestions, according to regional media.
'He died in my arms.' Twelve months on, a mother's agonizing wait to find out why her son died at Lekki toll gate
A declaration launched by the Lagos federal government likewise priced estimate the chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, to have actually stated around 70 victims of authorities cruelty have actually been granted an overall of 410 million naira (around $1 million) as settlement.
The panel’s report was invited by Amnesty International, which kept in mind that “the panel’s findings reveal the truth about what happened at Lekki toll gate and contradict the blatant denial by the Nigerian government that deadly force was used against peaceful #EndSARS protesters.”
The United States Objective in Nigeria likewise invited the conclusion of the panel’s sittings, mentioning that it eagerly anticipates the Lagos federal government’s action.
President Muhammadu Buhari had actually just recently informed Blinken, throughout a main see in Abuja that the Nigerian federal government will await declarations from panels established by other states to examine authorities cruelty in the nation prior to taking additional actions.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.