Government Declares EndSars Panel Report Unprofessional -Minister

Government Declares EndSars Panel Report Unprofessional -Minister

The Nigerian Government has condemned the unsigned report of the Endsars Judicial Panel of Enquiry set up by the Lagos State Government in circulation.

The Nigerian authorities described the content of the circulated report as outright false, fake and highly unprofessional.

In a Press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, the country’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the report was riddled with so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendoes, omissions and conclusions that are not supported by evidence.

Rehash Of Unverified Fake News
The Minister said what is circulating in the public space is simply a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of Oct.

20th 2020.

According to him, the report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.

“It is simply incredible that a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations, the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance.

Instead of sitting for a whole year, the panel could have just compiled social media ‘tales by the moonlight‘ on the incident and submitted, saving taxpayers’ funds and everyone’s time.

Pinpointing some of the loopholes in the report, the Minister queried how the panel’s report threw away the testimony of ballistic experts who testified before it.

“The same panel that said it deemed as credible the evidence of the Forensic Pathologist, Prof.

John Obafunwa, that only three of the bodies on which post mortem were conducted were from Lekki and only one had gunshot injury went on to contradict itself by saying nine persons died of gunshot wounds at Lekki!
The man whose evidence (that he counted 11 bodies in a military van where he was left as a dead man before he escaped) was found to be crucial by the panel, but he never testified in person.

The panel said trucks with brushes underneath were brought to the Lekki Toll Gate in the morning of Oct.

21 2020 to clean up bloodstains and other evidence, but still found bullet casings at the same site when it visited on Oct.

30th 2020.

It said soldiers picked up bullet casings from Lekki Toll Gate on the night of Oct.

20th 2020, yet claimed that policemen came to the same spot to pick the same bullet casings on Oct.

21st 2020.

The panel was silent on the family members of those reportedly killed, merely insinuating they were afraid to testify.

“If the panel is recommending compensation for the families, what are their identities and addresses? Who will receive the compensations when no family members have shown up to date? How did a man who reported seeing the lifeless body of his brother himself ended up being on the list of the panel’s deceased persons?”
Massive Destruction of Police Station
The report never mentioned cases of police personnel who were brutally murdered or the massive destruction of police stations, vehicles, e.

t c during the EndSars protest.

Does this mean that the panel didn’t consider policemen and women as human beings?
The report didn’t make any recommendation on the innocent people whose businesses were attacked and destroyed during the protest in Lagos.

Based on some the points raise, the Minister stated that that the report of the panel in circulation cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt.

Alhaji Mohammed however said the cowardly leakage of an unsigned report to the public is not enough.

Assuming the report in circulation bears any iota of genuineness, it is basic knowledge that the report of such a panel is of no force until the convening authority issues a White Paper and Gazette on it.

Role of CNN, others
The Nigerian government also condemned American media giants Cable News Network CNN for mischievously supporting the unprofessional and fake report making the rounds.

“The CNN has been celebrating the leaked report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

In its rush to claim vindication, CNN has celebrated prematurely and has now committed a double faux pas: First, by relying on unverified social media stories and videos to carry out an investigation of the Oct.

20th 2020 incident at Lekki, where it did not have a correspondent on ground.

Secondly, CNN rushed to the air to celebrate an unsigned and unverified report that is riddled with inconsistencies, errors, discrepancies, innuendoes.

That’s double faux pas by a news organization that is eager and willing to compromise standards just to claim vindication.

Alhaji Mohammed said sadly, a section of the Nigerian media has also joined the lynch mob in an attempt to vilify government at all costs.

“How can any news organisation worth its salt write an Editorial validating this kind of report? Are they not seeing what others, including journalists and lawyers, are seeing?
In a shocking twist, a Nigerian newspaper chose to hail what it calls ‘’detailed investigative report’’ by CNN, even when the news channel did not even cover the incident of Oct.

20th 2020! It’s a classic case of cutting your nose to spite your face.

The Minister reaffirmed the government’s position that there is absolutely nothing in the report that is circulating to make the authorities change stand that there was no massacre at Lekki on Oct.

20th 2020.

“For us to change our stand, a well-investigated report of the incident that meets all required standards and will withstand every scrutiny must be produced and presented to the public.

The report in circulation does not meet those requirements.

The Minister said the conclusion is not supported by the weight of available evidence.

“Indictment for murder is a very serious issue that cannot be done on the basis of allegations and corroborations, as the panel did.

Such allegations must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The report in circulation is calculated to embarrass the Federal Government and its agencies without foolproof evidence.

The Federal Government has never condoned the abuse of the rights of Nigerians by security agencies under any guise.

The 37 policemen and six soldiers who died across the country during the Endsars protest are also Nigerians and should not be forgotten.

Those who have engaged in premature celebration of the report in circulation should now go back and read it thoroughly and tell Nigerians whether it can pass any serious scrutiny.

We are saddened that anyone died at all during the Endsars protest as the life of every Nigerian and indeed every human is sacrosanct.

After the Endsars protest in Nigeria last year, states across the country set up judicial panels of enquiries to look into the issues and find lasting solutions and the report in circulation purportedly emanated from Lagos state chapter of such panels.

Every concerned party is waiting for the official statement of the Lagos State government on whether or not the unsigned report in circulation has the same content with the much anticipated copy and also the next line of action.

Lateefah Ibrahim
Government Declares EndSars Panel Report Unprofessional -Minister

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