…. Emphasises human rights
…Doubts positive outcome from the Commission of Inquiry
By Jeremiah Orfaankwagh
The Centre for Credible Leadership & Citizens Awareness in coalition with over sixty-two (62) Civil Society and Non Governmental, Nonprofit Organizations, as Nigerian Citizens said it conducted an inquest on the ENDSARS demonstration and the climax of the protest in Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos state on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
This incidence in Lekki is still dominating the media space for which some media outfits and bloggers classify as “Lekki Massacre” has been generated a heated debate on the role of the Nigerian Army in the enforcement of the curfew as announced by the Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo Olu, the number of those injured and the number of deaths if any with substantial evidence to proof beyond reasonable doubts.
Delivering the report in Abuja on Tuesday, the Executive Director of the Coalition, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu said it was important to reemphasize that coalition believes in the sanctity of the human life and the fact that every life is equal before our creator. But for the purpose of this fact finding and reality, it have chosen to be as objective and as practical as possible.
According to him, the word Lekki “MASSACRE” according to the dictionary is synonymous with holocaust, carnage, bloodbath, death, slaughter, butchery. It also refers to large scale cold blooded murder of human beings which everal reports on both foreign and local media says that this was the case in Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
The rest of the report reads:
“The protest was seemingly well organized, disciplined and focused in their pursuit of the disbandment of the police Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS). In a twinkle of an eye, the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu joined the protesters, addressed them and ran the Aso Rock Villa to see Mr. President and presenting a five point demand. The President acceded to their request in principle.
“SARS was disbanded and modalities put in place to implement other demands. But the protesters were defiant; they remained on the streets and introduced other new demands.
Some questions readily come to mind; why was Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu so quick to join the protesters? How did he come to identify their leaders as to be so certain on what their demands were? And why did he run to the President to submit their demand?
“The protesters continued. The longer the protesters stayed on the street, the more extraneous forces come in as protesters and systematically hijacked on alarming scale. Police stations were burnt, policemen murdered in most gruesome manner, armories looted as criminals made away with arms and ammunitions and there was general brake down of law and order tending towards an anarchy situation. The Governor at this time introduced the curfew and requested the help of the military in enforcing the curfew.
“Why then did the protesters not disperse in line with their peaceful and law abiding stance knowing that the red line between legality and illegality had been crossed?
“A national newspaper claimed 49 persons were murdered. Amnesty International claimed that 12 persons died. There were purported eyewitnesses who gave account on how soldiers short directly on the protesters with unprecedented casualties with AK47.
“The video that went viral showed men in military uniform, corking AK47 riffles from the left hand side and firing into the air. In this social media age and with the sophistication that captured the men in military uniform firing, we expected to see at least someone who captured the killings, the dead bodies as evidenced.
Or at least, we expect some families to come forward laying claims of their loved ones who participated in the protest but still missing. No family has done this as at the time of this briefing.
“Again, a lady protester who gave a narrative about the different types of bullets for the police and the military also claimed she with the aid of some persons carried at least 17 dead bodies into the military truck. We believe she must have been invisible to achieve that narrative since according to her; it was a heavy and continuous firing. How come the alleged soldiers spared her life?
“There is this claim that the CCTV camera was removed. Our quest is that the camera which captured men in military uniform firing into the air ought to have also captured the alleged direct shooting of protesters at close range and the evacuation of dead bodies as claimed by some reports.
“The PRNigeria is a forensic expert company with Mamood Abdulsalam as the assistant editor has collected over 100 samples of footages showing dead bodies and those wounded. According to him, “when we subjected them to our reverse imagery testing tools, it indicated they were not recent while others are manipulated images and doctored videos. We also observed circulation of old pictures of victims injured and killed during violent skirmishes, unrelated to the ENDSARS demonstration across the country”.
“Four major deaths were either refuted but the acclaimed deceased persons or discovered by several independent fact finders as false and unrealistic. The PRNigeria also discovered that a Nollywood movie star, Eniola Badmus, who was allegedly shot in the stomach and died at the Lekki Toll Gate, had denied the social media reports. This was evident on her Instagram page where she wrote that “Against all speculations about me being shot dead at the unspeakable event that happened at the Toll Gate a few hours ago, I would like to inform you guys that I Eniola Badmus is hale and hearty. I couldn’t make it there today to lend my voice on the ENDSARS Movement”.
“Secondly, one Iraoye Godwin, a native of Otu- Auchi in Edo State was also posted by the ENDSARS narrative as one of the persons allegedly killed by the soldiers. On twitter, Godwin posted via a video denying this report, saying that he was hail and hearty.
“The photo of a man carrying a dead lady wrapped in the Nigerian flag as posted by Yemi Alade was an image from a Nigerian movie acted with the theme “Heal Our Land, OH LORD”.
“Lucia Adu was the lady with an open skull posted in the social media while dancing and was said to have been allegedly struck on the head by the bullets of the Nigerian Army an hour later. Her martyrdom was being celebrated all over the Social media as one the deaths in Lekki Toll Gate.
“Investigations shows that Luci Adu died from an accident with a stationary truck on the 20th of October, 2020. This is also confirmed by a new fact checking twitter handle on endsarshttp:/twitter.com/endSARSfctchek”
“The fiction and lies perpetrated by Amnesty International was unprecedented. Osai Ojigho claimed 12 deaths were recorded but relied on circumstantial evidences in her reports. She also claimed she needed the permission of the deceased families to make the names public. What an irony!
Nigerians, how did we get here?
“From the above over whelming facts, it becomes evident that the ENDSARS protest was politically motivated and funded both Internationally and locally with the sole aim of presenting the Nigerian Military as murderous and by so doing, spur sentiments from citizen and the International community against the Military and Government with the ultimate goal of destabilizing the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu who by media reports initially said there was no deaths in Lagos, later claimed to have visited several hospitals with a few injured and 2 deaths is seen as someone who speaks from both sides of his mouth. He lacks the public confidence as far as this matter is concerned.
“Therefore, the setting up of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry by the Governor of Lagos state is a kangaroo one. It is only a mockery.
“Finally, by this medium, we want to appeal to the very articulate and hard working Nigerian youths to dissuade all attempts by some clandestine groups to make them return to the streets a second time. We urge them to embrace dialogue with Government for a long lasting peace in Nigeria”.