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#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu asked to suspend mass burial for victims’ families to identify corpses

#EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate

A group known as the coalition of #EndSARS protesters and supporters has asked the Lagos state government to suspend the planned mass burial of 103 persons killed during the anti-police brutality protest of 2020.

The Lagos government had in a leaked document, confirmed the recovery of 103 corpses of EndSARS protests, but said the bodies were not from the Lekki tollgate.

In a statement on Wednesday, the coalition said the government should conduct a dignified burial for the victims after they have been identified by their families and loved ones.

The coalition said the government has made contradictory statements thrice while misleading the public on the actual number of deaths recorded during the EndSARS protest.

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The group said the lives of citizens should be prioritised, adding that section 14 (2)(b) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution (as amended) stated that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government”.

“The coalition of #EndSARS protesters and supporters, national and globally are horrified by the planned mass burial of 103 protesters and civilians who tragically lost their lives in the October 2020 state-sponsored violence and murder at the Lekki Toll Gate, and the callous and insincere statement by the Lagos state government in response to the leaked memo approving the contract for the mass burial,” the statement reads.

“The Babajide Sanwo-olu-led Lagos state government continues to disinform the global community in an attempt to manipulate public perception and evade justice and accountability.

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“Between October 21-23, 2020, Mr Sanwo-olu had contradicted himself thrice, first, he said, “Nobody died at Lekki Toll Gate”; next day, “one person died and it was from blunt trauma to the head”; and on the 3rd day, he said, “Two deaths have now been confirmed among the protesters in Lekki.”

“#EndSARS protesters and investigative journalists are convinced that many people died at Lekki Toll Gate. The report of the Judicial Panel set up by Mr Sanwo-Olu, established there was a massacre at Lekki Toll Gate, and pages 297 & 298 of the report (copy attached) clearly name nine people that were killed, with four more missing, but presumed dead.

“Therefore, to state that no one died at Lekki Toll Gate or only two persons were confirmed is a wicked and brazen lie.”

FIVE DEMANDS BEFORE BURIAL

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The group asked the TOS funeral services to be cautious in order not to be involved in an attempt to conceal murder.

The coalition also urged the Lagos government to “stop using deceitful tactics and face the reality that their actions led to the death of defenseless Nigerians”.

“Suspend the planed mass burial of 103 bodies in TOS funeral services immediately,” the group said.

“Implement the recommendations of the judicial panel of inquiry’s white paper.

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“Establish a one-month notice for citizens to access the 103 bodies, in the hopes of identifying their loved ones.

“Conduct a DNA mapping of all 103 bodies using a reputable private organisation.

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“Pay compensation and provide therapy for the trauma they have caused families over the last 3 years.”

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