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  The just-released White Paper of the Lagos State Government in response to the Judicial Panel Report on the Lekki Shooting has sparked several outrages across the country. The White Paper which was released on Tuesday night of November 30, 2021, was full of many contradictions and inconsistencies as given by the earlier-released Report.
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The much anticipated White Paper has faulted and rubbished the Judicial Report and denied the findings in it. The Judicial Panel Report had claimed that nine people were shot dead by the Nigerian Police and Army on the night of 20th of October, 2020, at Lekki Tollgate. The Report further stated that an additional number of four were missing as a result of the shooting. The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel in its 309-page report submitted to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu reported that the shooting of October 20, 2020, was a massacre. The Report was handed over to the Lagos State Government on the 16th of November 2020. Two weeks after the submission, the Government released its White Paper rejecting every claim amidst glaring shreds of evidence According to the Lagos State government, the killings reported in the report contradicted the forensic research reported by the Pathologist Prof. John Obafunwa, who claimed that out of the bodies post mortem was conducted only three bodies were from Lekki, and only one had a gunshot injury.  This was captured in the White Paper thus: “The JPI’s finding of nine deaths is therefore irreconcilable with evidence of Prof. Obafunwa that only one person died of gunshot wounds at 7:7:43 pm Lekki Tollgate on 21st October 2020.
“Having held that there was no evidence before it to the contrary of what Prof. Obafunwa said. The question is, where did JPI then get its finding of nine deaths?”
The Paper further stated that,
“This finding of nine (9) deaths at LTG on 20th October 2020 is even more baffling because apart from listing out their names in tabular form at pages 297-298, the JPI offered no explanation regarding circumstances of their death. The names simply sprang up at pages 297-298 of the report without any justification.”

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The White Paper also claimed that the Report was shallowly done, lacking credibility and was itself self-contradictory. The Lagos State government through its White Paper took its stand as regards the Report:
“The inconsistencies and contradictions in the entire JPI Report concerning the number of persons who died at LTG on 20th October 2020 and their cause of death rendered the JPI’s findings and  conclusions therefrom as totally unreliable and therefore unacceptable.”
Amidst outrage against the White Paper, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, called on some notable youths to attend a peace walk to herald the healing of the state. SanwoOlu disclosed this on Tuesday during a press conference held at the statehouse, Alausa, Ikeja. The governor specifically called on musician Folarin Falana (aka Falz), comedian Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni; Dele Farotimi, an activist and lawyer; Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya, Seun Kuti, among others, to join him in the “historic march for our dear Lagos”. In response, the abovementioned celebrities and influencers took to their various social media handled to reject the governor’s call. On his official Facebook page, Seun Kuti stated that “Justice comes before peace.” The multiple award-winning journalists, Fisayo Soyombo, reacted thus: “Black Contents on White Paper.” Many Nigerians on social media have also knocked the Lagos State government over its white paper. The white paper was coming a few weeks after the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, called the Lekki Tollgate Massacre a “tales by moonlight.” However, evidence of video recording released by Disc Jockey DJ Switch is still at large on the internet as there was evidence of multiple shootings by the Nigerian Police and Army on the night of the massacre. Speaking to Arise TV on Wednesday, Olumide-Fusika, stated that for the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, to insist on the claims of Prof Obafunwa, the pathologist who testified before the panel indicated the government’s plan to reject the truth from the onset. Featured Image Source: The Nation Newspaper
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This article was first published on 3rd December 2021


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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