EndSARS: Lagos white paper an attempt to whitewash the truth – YRC

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A group, Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) has condemned the white paper issued by the Lagos State government on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel Inquiry.

Our correspondent gathered that youths across the country had last year staged protests christened End SARS in order to kick against atrocities committed by some overzealous policemen.

Newspot recalls that a panel was set up to look into allegations of shootings and killing of protesters at Lekki Tollgate in October 2020 following the protests last year.

Our correspondent gathered that governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state had a few days ago received the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate and other acts of police brutality around the State.

The governor after receiving the report rejected some of the recommendations of the panel.

The governor on Tuesday then released a white paper. 

YRC, however, in its reaction, described the white paper as an attempt to water down and sidestep the main recommendations of the panel.

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The group in a statement made available to Newspot through its National Coordinator, Michael Lenin and National Secretary, Francis Nwapa, demand full implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

The duo in the statement issued on Wednesday, explained that the Lagos state government rejected the findings of the panel so as to neuter the main thrust of the panel report.

They added that the white paper is an attempt to whitewash the truth.

“The white paper is a product of a so-called “formal committee” headed by the Attorney General of Lagos State. We think it is not only undemocratic but also an insult to the enormous sacrifices of the judicial panel of inquiry as well as host of witnesses, lawyers, security and medical experts and victims and in extension, many Nigerians who anxiously waited for the panel’s report for over one year for the Lagos State government, whose actions were a subject of the panel’s investigation, to constitute a secretive bureaucratic committee to cherry-pick the panel’s findings and recommendations.

“It is not surprising that the language of the white paper is not so different from the dubious argument deployed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, to discredit the panel report. In fact, the arguments canvassed in the white paper to discredit the key panel findings are borrowed straight from the “misinformation playbook” of Lai Mohammed who called the incident of October 20, 2020 “a massacre without bodies”. This shows to what extent the Lagos and Federal governments are working together towards the objective of ultimately covering up the truth.

“On the basis of all the aforesaid, we hereby demand the full implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

“As far as we are concerned, the continuous denial by both the state and federal government that a massacre or mass killing occurred at the Lekki tollgate despite the findings of the judicial panel of enquiry is ridiculous and outrageous.

“Why set up a panel of inquiry in the first place if its findings would be rejected? Apparently the state and federal government were hoping for a favorable outcome but only to be startled by the courage of the panel members in insisting on the truth.

“We demand the immediate prosecution of security personnel and all those found to have been responsible for maiming and killing unarmed protesters both on 20 October 2020 and during the entire #EndSARS protest. We also demand the immediate release of the #EndSARS protesters still unjustly detained across the country”.

EndSARS: Lagos white paper an attempt to whitewash the truth – YRC

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