Fresh Details Emerge Regarding The Lekki Shootings During The #EndSARS Protests
Fresh Details Emerge Regarding The Lekki Shootings During The #EndSARS Protests

Mr. Adesina Ogunlana served as the lead counsel for #EndSARS activists during the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters. The panel’s main focus was on investigating the shooting of activists protesting police brutality at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020.

There was a heated debate surrounding the number of deaths resulting from the shootings, and widespread protests occurred in various parts of Lagos, including Ikeja, Orile, Marina, Oyingbo, and Ketu, as well as other parts of the country.

Recently, a leaked memo surfaced, suggesting that the government might spend N61 million on a mass burial for 103 protesters killed during the police’s actions under the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The memo, dated July 19, 2023, detailed the funding process after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s approval. The mass burial contract was reportedly awarded to a funeral service provider by the Ministerial Tenders’ Board Meeting, without any objections.

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The Lagos State Ministry of Health acknowledged the memo but clarified that the 103 casualties were not solely from the Lekki Toll Gate incident. The victims were allegedly from various incidents of violence following the #EndSARS protests, including Fagba, Ketu, Ikorodu, Orile, Ajegunle, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Ojota, Ekoro, Ogba, Isolo, and Ajah areas of Lagos State. The ministry stated that nobody was retrieved from the Lekki Toll Gate incident.

Mr. Ogunlana expressed his disagreement with the government’s response, claiming that while not all 103 bodies were from Lekki Toll Gate and its surroundings, there were corpses found near the Toll Gate, and some were perforated with bullets. He criticized the government’s decision to spend N61 million on a mass burial for unidentified and unclaimed bodies, which he deemed excessive, and questioned the transparency of the process.

Regarding the absence of relatives claiming the bodies, Mr. Ogunlana saw it as significant morally and legally, highlighting the fear and distrust people had towards the government after the events of 2020. He contended that the government’s actions and responses indicated that people indeed died in various locations, not just Lekki Toll Gate, supporting the findings of the judicial panel.

In conclusion, Mr. Ogunlana expressed concerns about the government’s handling of the situation, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability in governance. He called for a more responsible and efficient use of public funds, especially in the context of increasing hardships faced by citizens.


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