Judicial Panels Must Investigate Looting, Lekki Shootings, Says UK

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sanwo olu

•Those behind shootings will account for their action, Sanwo-Olu insists

By Adedayo Akinwale

The British High Commission in Nigeria has urged security agents to exercise restraint as they restore law and order in the country.

In a tweet yesterday, the British Commission again condemned last Tuesday attack at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State where eyewitnesses said soldiers opened fire on protesters around 7pm.

This is coming as the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday said that the federal and the state governments would ensure that anyone found culpable in last Tuesday’s shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza

It, therefore, asked all Judicial Panels of Inquiry to work with relevant stakeholders to efficiently probe the Lekki shootings and wanton looting across Nigeria in the last one week.

@UKinNigeria tweeted, “We remain concerned by acts of looting and violence in Nigeria and urge security services to use restraint as order is restored.

“Working with all stakeholders, judicial panels of inquiry must investigate all incidents, including Lekki and ensure accountability for crimes. #EndPoliceBrutality”
Soldiers allegedly opened fire on unarmed demonstrators against police brutality at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday.

The incident attracted global outrage with local and international civil rights organisations and personalities condemning the attack.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu, yesterday promised that the federal and the state governments would ensure that anyone found culpable in last Tuesday’s shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza would be held accountable for their actions.

Speaking during an interview session with a CNN journalist, Becky Anderson’s “Connect the World with Becky Anderson programme,” Sanwo-Olu said the CCTV footage at the Lekki Tollgate would be available for the state Judicial Panel of Enquiry to review as part of the investigation into the Lekki Tollgate shootings.

He said: “We will be committed to a full investigation of what happened and people would be held accountable. They certainly would be held accountable. We would do everything possible to ensure that they are held accountable.

“People have claimed that their friends and family members have been killed. So, this Judicial Panel of Enquiry is meant to bring all of these stories to accountability; where we can make restitutions, where families can prove and indentify officers that were responsible for this.

“I am not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; I am Governor of a state. The report would be out and we would channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the state to ensure that every one that is found culpable is accountable for the act.”

Sanwo-Olu also debunked the insinuation that international pressure persuaded President Muhammadu Buhari and himself to finally speak out about what protesters demonstrated for so long in Lagos and in Nigeria on the #EndSARS campaign.

He said: “There are no international pressures whatsoever. These are genuine protesters that we all believe and we all have knowledge about. I was the first governor among governors with due respect to all my other colleagues who came out to meet with them, who started from the front. I carried the EndSARS flags with them. I met with them twice and we all had the rally together and worked together.”

The governor also expressed confidence that there would be positive change as a result of what has happened in the past couple of days with protests in different parts of Nigeria by the youths.

“I genuinely believe there would be change for two reasons. One, what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. Number two is that it was a clarion call for all of us in government, especially understanding and realising what the youths truly want us to be doing. So, it hit all of us like a thunder boat and it was just a wake-up call,” he said.