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#EndSARS panel report: Activists ask Buhari, Sanwo-Olu to resign

#EndSARS panel report: Activists ask Buhari, Sanwo-Olu to resign
November 22
17:16 2021

A coalition of activist groups, under the aegis of #EndSARS United, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, to resign over the findings of the Lagos judicial panel.

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Last Monday, the panel submitted two documents — a consolidated report on cases of police brutality and another on the Lekki shooting incident — to Sanwo-Olu.

But the document on the Lekki shooting was leaked to the media hours later.

In the report, the panel said the “killing of unarmed protesters by soldiers on October 20, 2020 could be described in the context of a massacre”.

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The report elicited mixed reactions — with some persons commending the panel while others pointed out errors in the document.

Reacting to the report, the coalition, at a media briefing on Monday, also called for the resignation of Lai Mohammed, minister of information, for his “role in spreading lies and false information about the Lekki massacre”.

Speaking at the briefing, Adesina Ogunlana, a counsel for the #EndSARS protesters, faulted the decision of the Lagos governor to set up a white-paper committee on the panel’s report.

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Ogunlana said it is against the “principle of natural justice for the governor to sit as a judge over his own case”.

“We are convinced beyond doubt that the military personnel who carried out the massacre at the Lekki tollgate could not have acted without clearance from the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, general Muhammadu Buhari (retired),” Ogunlana said.

“We place the blame of the Lekki massacre at the doorstep of General Buhari and demand his immediate resignation.

“In the light of the panel report, the crucial question to ask is: can Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos state, be absolved of any portion of blame in the events that led to the Lekki massacre and its aftermath?

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“We are of the candid view that while it may be argued that as governor of a state, Mr. Sanwo-Olu does not have maximum control over military personnel up to the extent of the capacity of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the overwhelming evidence presented before the panel and the findings of the panel has shown that as the chairman of the Lagos state security council, he influenced the processes that led to the dispatch of soldiers to the Lekki tollgate to fire live bullets at unarmed and innocent protesters.

“We hold that he stands indicted and he should resign immediately.

The group also called for the “immediate dismissal, arrest and prosecution of S.O. Bello and Godwin Umelo for their role in the Lekki massacre as senior military officers”.

The press conference was organised by the New Nigeria Network, as well as a coalition of #EndSARS groups.

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