By Moses Adeniyi
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured that the report from the Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution constituted to dig into the alleged October 20, 2020 Lekki-Toll Plaza shootings and cases of Police brutality would be made public without distortions.
Following the conclusion of its sittings on Monday, after 12 months it was constituted, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would distance itself from any attempt to cover up the recommendations of the panel, whether it favours it or not.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who said his Government will “not leave anything to chance,” said on Thursday that his Administration will give close attention to implementing the inferences of the report which he posited would be helpful in strengthening true reconciliation and preventing re-occurrence of violence in the State.
Sanwo-Olu said: “The panel concluded its sittings about three days ago and has asked for time to put the reports together behind closed doors. We do not know the content of the report, but we want to say publicly that, upon the handover of the report, we will be making it public. We will not cover up anything. This is not who we are and that is not what our Government stands for. We will make full disclosure of whatever recommendations that the panel will come up with. I assure citizens of Lagos that we will not leave anything to chance.”
At the heels of grievances that trailed the #ENDSARS protest, Governor Sanwo-Olu had last October constituted the panel to delve into allegations of human rights abuses against the Police and also determine what is believed to be the cause of coordinated attacks against Lagos.
Moreover, the Governor on Thursday commented on the arrest of some youths that participated in fixtures to commemorate the #ENDSARS Lekki Tollgate incident on Wednesday, disclosing that he had ordered an unconditional release of those detained by the Police, except for one person who was caught with dangerous weapons at the scene.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), we saw a protest in Lagos and everybody that was arrested in connection with the protest have all been released, except an individual that was caught with dangerous weapons and who confessed to the police that he joined the protest to cause mayhem,” the Governor said.
He commended the police for being alive with its responsibility to identify and isolate troublemakers from law-abiding citizens who conduct themselves in line with the laws.
Further expressing his commitment to youth course, Governor Sanwo-Olu reiterated that youths in the State remain important stakeholders in the development of the State, urging them to join the race towards rebuilding and restoring the operating capacity of institutions affected in the violence.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said though the destruction of properties that greeted the State at the heightening of the protest was colossal, his administration will consider same as a challenge and on the basis move with courage to restore and rebuild.
He said: “It is exactly a year ago today when Lagos was hit by violence in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protests. Lagos witnessed massive destruction of infrastructure, iconic buildings, transport infrastructure, police station and others.
“Today being a year after the event, there is no better time to say how difficult it has been for us as a State and how committed it has been for us. As tough as it is, the Government will certainly not shy away from its responsibility. We see the incident as a challenge and we will fix it with everything that we have.”
Lagos State on 21st October last year was worst hit with the #ENDSARS protest following alleged killings at the Lekki-Toll Plaza on the night of the preceding day – a development which occasioned lootings and arsonist attacks on state infrastructures, ransacking of private residents and businesses, among other undesirable mishaps.