Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has again denied that anyone was killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos during the EndSARS protest last year.
Mr. Mohammed said the report by the panel set up by Lagos State to probe police brutality and the shooting at the tollgate, which had indicted the military and police in the killing of protesters at the Lekki tollgate, is riddled with discrepancies.
The Lagos panel report had said the “killing of unarmed protesters by soldiers on October 20, 2020 could be described in the context of a massacre”.
But addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the Information minister said the findings of the panel were not backed up with facts, arguing that discrepancies observed in the panel’s report have never been seen n the history of any judicial panel set up in the country.
Mohammed said it was shocking that the same allegations made by Nigerians were merely compiled and submitted as a report by the panel set up to investigate the claims of police brutality, noting that report was “an intimidation of the majority by a minority.”
Mohammed said, “Without mincing words, let me say that never in the history of any Judicial Panel in this country has its report been riddled with so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendoes, omissions and conclusions that are not supported by evidence.
“What is circulating in public space is simply a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of October 20, 2020.
“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 all of one 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.
“That report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.
“The report of the panel in circulation cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt. There is absolutely nothing in the report, circulating, to change our mind that there was a massacre at the Lekki tollgate.”