Lekki Bloodbath: Sanwo-Olu should seem earlier than Panel – Lawyer insists
Counsel for some #EndSARS protesters in Lagos State, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, has mentioned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should seem earlier than the Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by troopers on the Lekki tollgate on the night time of October 20.
Ogunlana mentioned because the navy claimed earlier than the panel that their operation on that day was on the invitation of the governor, it might be essential for the governor to look earlier than the panel, notably to exhibit his professed perception within the rule of legislation.
The Commander of 81 Navy Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brigadier Normal Ahmed Taiwo, had throughout his cross-examination on Saturday mentioned the Chief of Military Workers, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, ordered the deployment of troopers to the tollgate and different components of the state that day following a request by the governor.
“He (the governor) referred to as the Chief of Military Workers, following which 81 Division, Nigerian Military was ordered into part 4 of inner safety operation; the decision was within the afternoon, earlier than 4pm,” Taiwo advised the panel.
In the meantime, in an interview with considered one of our correspondents on Friday, the lawyer was requested if the looks of the governor was essential to the case of his shoppers and whether or not he can be pushing for the governor’s look earlier than the panel.
Ogunlana mentioned, “After all, that’s taken (sic). That particular person (Sanwo-Olu) should come; he’s an element and he’ll come. He says he believes within the rule of legislation, his Lawyer Normal, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), has come to look earlier than that panel to simply make a brief speech and to affirm that the Lagos State Authorities is certainly dedicated to unraveling the reality about what occurred at Lekki on that day; and the navy has talked about him, so, he’s an element.”
Whereas the Nigerian Military has persistently maintained that it didn’t kill any of the #EndSARS protesters, Ogunlana, alternatively, insisted that “individuals died on my facet.”
His shoppers, Kamsiyochukwu Perpetual, Dabira Ayuku and Samuel Isah, had of their particular person affidavits on oath submitted to the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel, burdened that troopers and policemen shot and killed protesters.
Perpetual, in her petition, acknowledged that she noticed many useless our bodies, together with one with a bullet-torn head at Reddington Hospital, Lekki the morning after the shootings.
“The medical doctors refused us entry to see the useless our bodies. The media man waded in once more and we might solely see one of many useless our bodies whose head was torn by (a) bullet fired to his head. He laid on the emergency unit. The physician referred to as the corpse ‘John Doe’ (sic).”
Ayuku, in her assertion on oath, mentioned, “The troopers had been asking individuals to run while they shot at them. I keep in mind a selected soldier that stored dancing while he shot.”
Additionally, Isah mentioned he witnessed how policemen allegedly gunned down a Nigerian flag-bearing youth.
He mentioned, “That younger man was hit by bullet in his head and died instantly, falling to the highway with the Nigerian flag in his hand (sic).”
Isah mentioned he managed to video the shootings by troopers on his cell and had submitted two footages to the panel.
However Taiwo, who testified for the Nigerian Military earlier than the panel on November 14, mentioned troopers used solely clean bullets, which they fired into the air.
“Clean expended ammunition incorporates solely gunpowder, which simply makes noise and a flash,” Taiwo mentioned.
The final mentioned a clean bullet “can do no harm to the flesh and you don’t have anything to concern besides you’re taking a rifle, put it in opposition to your eye and fireplace. Even in case you put it in opposition to your pores and skin and fireplace you’ll solely have burn marks to point out for it.”
Retired generals demand govt probe of stay ammunition, Serbian bullets declare
In the meantime, some retired generals have referred to as for a deep scrutiny by the Lagos judicial panel investigating allegations of police brutality levelled in opposition to SARS personnel and the Lekki tollgate incident, given proof on account of a report by the Cable Information Community.
The generals famous that if essential, the panel ought to invite the navy and different events to talk on the brand new proof.
The CNN report revealed that expended Serbian ammunition, allegedly fired by the troopers, had been picked from the scene of the incident.
The report mentioned, “CNN has examined bullet casings discovered on the scene and confirmed with present and former Nigerian navy sources that the bullet casings match these utilized by the military. Two ballistics specialists have additionally confirmed with CNN that the form of the bullet casings point out they used stay rounds, which contradicts the military’s declare they fired blanks.
“And dealing with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Community, CNN has established that a number of of the bullets from the Lekki tollgate originated from Serbia. Export paperwork CNN has seen present that Nigeria bought weaponry from Serbia virtually yearly between 2005 and 2016.”
One of many generals, a former Provost Marshal of the Military, Brig Gen Idada Ikponwmen (retd.), advised considered one of our correspondents that the panel needs to be thorough in its investigation primarily based on the info and the legislation.
Ikponwmen mentioned, “I believe the unique scope of the panel nonetheless covers no matter proof we’re getting. I don’t assume there’s a want for a brand new panel. There needs to be proof earlier than the panel. Those that are saying that they discovered this and that ought to have the ability to set up them earlier than the panel.
“The panel is empowered to ask anyone, primarily based on no matter new proof, to clear the air. The panel is not only to take a look at info alone; they need to additionally have a look at the proof in view of the legislation; how do you interact the navy in a legislation enforcement position; what does the structure say?
“We’re already conscious of the inconsistent statements or positions from the assorted events; the governor, the military and all that. The panel ought to have the ability to look into all these issues. It isn’t simply concerning the bullets on the bottom; how did they get there? The panel ought to have the ability to confirm the info and the related legal guidelines and see whether or not everybody acted correctly or there have been shortcomings.”
Troopers must account for all bullets, says Jemibewon
Additionally, a former Navy Governor of previous Western Area, Main Normal David Jemibewon (retd.), advised considered one of our correspondents in an interview that the troopers deployed within the Lekki tollgate space that night time needs to be made to account for each bullet given to them, according to navy ethics.
He added, “It depends upon the expertise and information of those that represent the panel. It is vitally essential. After all, whosoever makes an allegation should have proof to assist the allegations he made. So, usually as these issues, if troopers had been referred to as to a state of affairs like that, they need to additionally acquire the empty shells of no matter ammunition they expended.
“What I might advise is that correct investigation have to be performed. Should you allege that somebody was killed, it’s both they present the useless physique or present empty shells, being the expended a part of the ammunition. It is because they might use as proof that actually these bullets had been fired.
“We should always know what number of troopers had been despatched out and what number of rounds of ammunition they’d with them. It is because every soldier can be given a sure variety of rounds of ammunition and after they come again, they need to account for each ammunition. In the event that they gave you 5 rounds and also you say you may have fired one spherical, you could return 4 rounds.
“I wouldn’t know whether or not they nonetheless observe that, or whether or not the members of the panel actually perceive this. That is what we had been taught after I was nonetheless there (within the navy).”
Additionally, Main Normal Obi Umahi (retd.), mentioned, “It’s as simple as that it’s; simply to substantiate or examine whether or not any of the companies has ever introduced in bullets made in Serbia; whether or not any of the weapons contains armaments from Serbia. That would simply be a fast lead. So, you possibly can’t say it’s this service or that service till after the report establishes that.
“It’s for you individuals to make your personal personal investigations and set up that any of the Armed Forces or any of the safety businesses have inventory of Serbian-made ammunition. As soon as you determine that, you possibly can confront anyone with the info.”
Panel has energy to ask anyone–Lagos commissioner
The Lagos State Commissioner for Data and Technique, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, has mentioned the governor will seem earlier than the sitting if the state judicial panel investigating the Lekki tollgate incident decides to ask him.
Omotoso, in an interview with considered one of our correspondents, identified that he was not conscious if the governor had been invited by the judicial panel.
He mentioned, “I’m not conscious that he (the governor) has been invited or he’s going to be invited. It is just after they invite him that we are able to start to speak about whether or not he will probably be there or not. However I do know that the panel has the facility to ask whoever will assist them to clear the air on no matter points the panel desires to resolve on.
“However I’m not conscious of such invite. If it seems that the governor is invited, he’s like every other Nigerian. He arrange the panel within the first place and in the event that they invite him, why not?”
By John Alechenu, Leke Baiyewu, Oladimeji Ramon, Olaleye Aluko, Raphael Ede and Dele Ogunyemi
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