The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry following the Lekki shootings of #EndSARS protesters submitted its report to the Lagos State Government on Monday, November 15, 2021, one month after the panel concluded a year-long sitting to investigate and compensate victims of police brutality.
In the 309-page report, the panel indicted the Nigerian Army and the men of the Lagos State Police Command of involvement in the death of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in October 2020.
A summary of the report reads: “The panel in its report found that on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki Toll Gate, officers of the Nigerian Army shot, injured and killed unarmed, helpless and defenseless protesters without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian flag and singing the national anthem and the manner of assault and killing could in context be described as a massacre.
“The panel found that the Nigerian Police Force deployed its officers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020, and between that night and the morning of October 21, 2020, its officer shot at, assaulted and battered unarmed protesters, which led to injuries and deaths.”
The panel also found that the conduct of the Nigerian Army was exacerbated by its refusal to allow ambulances to render medical assistance to victims who required such assistance concluding that the Army didn’t adhere to its own Rules of Engagement.
In addition, the panel found out that the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) was guilty of ‘hampering’ the investigation by refusing to turn over essential evidence.
In the report, the panel said; “The panel found that LCC (Lekki Concession Company) hampered the panel’s investigation by refusing to turn over some useful and vital information/evidence as requested by the Panel and the forensic expert engaged by the panel, even where such information and evidence was by the company’s admission, available. It manipulated the incomplete CCTV video footage of the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020, which it tendered before the panel.”
Clarifying who ordered the Army to Lekki Toll Gate, the panel explained that; “The panel found that there was an invitation of the Nigerian Army to Lagos State made by the Lagos State Government through the Governor before the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army deployed its soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the night
of October 20. The panel found that there was an attempt to cover up the Incident of October 20, by the cleaning of the Lekki Toll Gate and the failure to preserve the scene ahead of potential investigations.”