#LekkiMassacre: #EndSARS lawyer says Governor Sanwo-Olu must appear before panel

Lagos State Governor-Elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, the counsel for some #EndSARS protesters in Lagos State, has said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State must appear before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the #LekkiMassacre by soldiers on 20 October, 2020.

The lawyer noted that since the military claimed that they were invited by the governor to the Lekki tollgate, it would be important for the governor to appear before the panel.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, the Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, had under cross-examination at the panel, said that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, had ordered the deployment of soldiers to the tollgate and other parts of the state following the request of Governor Sanwo-Olu.

“He (the governor) called the Chief of Army Staff, following which 81 Division, Nigerian Army was ordered into phase four of internal security operation; the call was in the afternoon, before 4pm,” Brig. Gen. Taiwo told the panel.

The army had stated that only rubber bullets were used by soldiers, adding that nobody died.

The counsel to the protesters however noted that “people died on his side”. Some of his clients (the #EndSARS protesters) who appeared before the panel stated that soldiers and policemen shot and killed protesters.

The protesters presented some evidences to prove that people were killed by soldiers and policemen. But the army general stated that soldiers only used blank bullets which was fired into the air.

“Blank expended ammunition contains only gunpowder, which just makes noise and a flash,” Taiwo said. He added that blank bullet “can do no damage to the flesh and you have nothing to fear except you take a rifle, put it against your eye and fire. Even if you put it against your skin and fire you will only have burn marks to show for it.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, has stated that the judicial panel has the power to invite anybody including the governor.

“I’m not aware that he (the governor) has been invited or he is going to be invited. It is only when they invite him that we can begin to talk about whether he will be there or not. But I know that the panel has the power to invite whoever will help them to clear the air on whatever issues the panel wants to decide on,” he told Punch.

“But I’m not aware of such invite. If it turns out that the governor is invited, he is like any other Nigerian. He set up the panel in the first place and if they invite him, why not?”

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