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White paper: Citing inconsistencies, Lagos rejects panel report of 9 deaths at Lekki tollgate

White paper: Citing inconsistencies, Lagos rejects panel report of 9 deaths at Lekki tollgate
November 30
22:33 2021

The Lagos government has released the white paper on the report submitted by the judicial panel set up to probe cases of police brutality in the state.

Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos commissioner for information, in a statement on Tuesday, announced the release of the white paper.

The development comes two weeks after a four-member white-paper committee was set up by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, following the submission of the panel’s report.

On November 15, the panel submitted two reports — one on police brutality cases and another on the Lekki incident investigation.

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According to the white paper released on Tuesday, the state government said not all the recommendations in the report would be accepted.

“Lagos State Government accepts 11 out of the 32 recommendations made by the JPI in its report of 15th November 2021, rejected one (1) and accepted 6 (six) with modifications,” the document reads.

“Fourteen (14) recommendations fall outside the powers of Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.”

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On the deaths recorded in the judicial panel report, the white-paper committee said the details in the document are insufficient to hold that the victims listed in the panel’s report were killed at the Lekki tollgate.

“This finding of nine (9) deaths at LTG on 20 October is even more baffling because apart from listing out their names in that form at pages 297-298, the JPI offered no explanation regarding circumstances of their death. The names simply sprang up at pages 297-298 of the report without any justification,” the committee said.

“On the basis of the above fundamental inconsistencies in the findings the JPI regarding the nine (9) deaths at LTG, and particularly because the findings are clearly and mainly not supported by evidence before the JPI as attested to by the JPI itself, when it said there was no contrary evidence to that of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died at LTG of gunshot wounds at LTG on 20th October 2020, the Government is therefore unable to accept the finding that nine people died of gunshot wounds at LTG on 20th October 2020.”

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