#EndSARS: Panel report is rubbish – Lai Mohammed

*Says its triumph of fake news

* As Adamawa panel submits report to Gov. Fintiri

By Emma Okereh (Abuja) and Austin Ajayi (Yola)

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Tuesday tore to shreds the report of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the alleged Lekki Toll Gate massacre, describing the report as “a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of October 20, 2020.”

The minister told journalists during a press conference in Abuja that “it is incredible that a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident had submitted a report laden with allegations, the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance”.

Mohammed spoke just as the Chairman of the 13-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry to look into claimed atrocities levelled against SARS in Adamawa State led by Justice Adamu Hobon (rtd), said their report torched on all areas of their assignment and thanked Gov. Fintiri for the privilege to zerve.

The Information Minister stated that never in the history of any Judicial Panel in Nigeria had its report been riddled with “so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendoes, omissions and conclusions that are not supported by evidence”, as did the panel’s report.

Mohammed said that “what is circulating in the public space is simply a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of Oct. 20th 2020.

“It is simply incredible that a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations. 

“Instead of sitting for all of one year, the panel could have just compiled social media ‘tales by the moonlight’ on the incident and submit, 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.”

He maintained that the report had skillfully discarded the testimony of ballistic experts who testified before it, saying the experts testified that “the Team finds that from the medical data examined, including the timeline of arrival at medical facility and the nature of the injuries sustained by the Victims, who were taken to the five medical facilities, that no military grade live ammunition (high-velocity) was fired at the protesters at Lekki Tollgate on 20th October 2020, within the timeframe of reference (18.30- 20.34hrs).”

He also said: “It is clear, from the on-going, that the report of the panel in circulation cannot be relied on because its authenticity is in doubt. 

“Besides, the Lagos State Government, being the convening authority, has yet to release any official report to the public.

“Neither has the panel done so. The cowardly leakage of an unsigned report to the public is not enough. 

“Assuming the report in circulation bears any iota of genuineness, it is basic knowledge that the report of such a panel is of no force until the convening authority issues a White Paper and Gazette on it.

“It is therefore too premature for any person or entity to seek to castigate the Federal Government and its agencies or officials based on such an unofficial and unvalidated report.”

Meanwhile, the Adamawa Judicial Panel of Inquiry on SARS in Adamawa State while submitting its report to  governor Ahamdu Finitiri at Government House on Monday in Yola, said they have discharged their responsibilities creditably.

The committee was inaugurated on October, 2020 pursuant to the directives of the National Economic Council, following the nationwide protests against the security squad.

Receiving the report in Yola, Gov. Fintiri commended the sacrifice of the panel for a job well done.

He assured that government will study the report and the recommendations thoroughly for proper implementation.

He urged all on the need for continous building of peace in the state, adding that “his administration will not relent in putting all efforts to address security challenges through the effort of the security and hunters”.

Noting that “the report will address extra judicial killings, brutality, calling for respect, encouragement and harmonious work with the police in the state by the public”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the thirteen member Judicial Panel of Enquiry, Retired Justice Adamu Hobon, thanked Governor Fintiri for giving them the privilege to serve the state.

He said the panel which worked on five specific terms of reference mainly fact finding commenced its operation on October 2020  and completed in January 2021.

The Chairman revealed that the panel has received 13 memoranda from the public and compiled the report in three volumes consisting of recommendations, submissions and exhibits.

He thanked the people, security and particularly the media for their accurate reportage without denting the credibility of anybody which ensured success of the assignment.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This News Site uses cookies to improve reading experience. We assume this is OK but if not, please do opt-out. Accept Read More