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Lagos Judicial Panel Recommends Dismissal Of Soldiers, Police Deployed To Lekki

On October 20, the Nigerian Army shot at the people protesting police brutality at the Lekki Toll Gate, but the military has continuously denied involvement in the incident despite several accounts of witnesses, including hospitals where victims were taken to, showing that there were casualties.

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry has submitted the reports on the Lekki shooting incident and police brutality cases to the state government on Monday.
The panel led by a retired judge, Doris Okuwobi, submitted the reports at the Governor’s Office in Alausa, Ikeja.

On October 20, the Nigerian Army shot at the people protesting police brutality at the Lekki Toll Gate, but the military has continuously denied involvement in the incident despite several accounts of witnesses, including hospitals where victims were taken to, showing that there were casualties.

The panel concluded its sitting on October 18, 2021, and said its findings and recommendations would be submitted to the state government.

Justice Okuwobi had said 186 of the 252 petitions submitted were deliberated upon.

According to an infographic released by the panel, the sum of N409.7 million was awarded to 70 petitioners.

The panel in its report obtained by SaharaReporters also recommended disciplinary actions to Lt. Col S.O. Bello and Major General Godwin Umelo for failing to to honor its summons in order to frustrate the investigation.

It added that all men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action, stripped of their status and dismissed.

“The panel recommends disciplinary actions to the following officers (Lt. Col S.O. Bello and Major General Godwin Umelo), who refused to honor the summons of the panel in order to frustrate the investigation,” part of the recommendation read.

“All officers (excluding Major General Omata) and men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action, stripped of their status, and dismissed as they are not fit and proper to serve in any public or security service of the nation.

“The panel recommends that all those arrested in the course of the protest should be granted bail, prosecuted for any offence that may be alleged against them or where no prima facie evidence of culpability is disclosed upon due investigation, they should be released forthwith.

“The panel recommends that the Nigeria Army be discouraged in intervening in internal security.

“Panel commends Reddington Hospital, Vedic Life Healthcare, Grandville Trauma Centre, Victoria Island Consultancy, General Hospital Marina, and medical Services Hospitals, LASUTH, Doreen Hospital, Saint Nicholas Hospital Lagos Island, Avon Medical Practice Clinic, Britannia Hospital Lekki, First City Diagnosis Limited, Lekki, Budo Specialist Hospital Lekki, Saint Edward Specialist Hospital and Cardiac Centre Lekki, Lagos Executive Cardiovascular Clinic Lekki, Olive Multi-Specialist Hospital Lekki, Preston Hospital Lekki, Lagoon Hospital Ikoyi and all the medical doctors and personnel that attended to the victims of gunshot wounds from the Lekki Toll Gate and treated all of them free of charge. Panel recommends them for special awards by the Lagos State and Federal Governments.

“The Panel recommends that the commitment made to the hospitals by the Lagos State Government through the Governor and the Commissioner for Health for the payment of the hospital bills of the EndSARS protesters should be fulfilled.”

It also added that the Divisional Police Officer of Maroko Police Station along with policemen deployed from Maroko the station on the 20th and 21st of October 2020 should be prosecuted for arbitrary and indiscriminate shooting and killing of protesters.

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