On Monday, the Lagos State Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters presented a 309-page document admitting that there was a massacre at Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020, to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
In the report submitted to the governor at the state house in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, the panel said protesters were killed by Nigerian soldiers at the tollgate in what could be described in the context of a “massacre”.
“At the Lekki Toll Gate, officers of the Nigerian Army shot, injured and killed unarmed helpless and defenseless protesters, without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the National Anthem and the manner of assault and killing could in context be described as a massacre,” the report partly reads.
“The Panel also found that the conduct of the Nigerian Army was exacerbated by its refusal to allow ambulances render medical assistance to victims who required such assistance. The Army was also found not to have adhered to its own Rules of Engagement.
“The Panel found that the Nigerian Police Force deployed its officers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of the 20th October, 2020 and between that night and the morning of the 21st of October, 2020, its officers shot at, assaulted and battered unarmed protesters, which led to injuries and deaths.”
A few days after the shooting at the tollgate, traditional media houses reported how at-least 20 bodies of victims massacred by operatives of the Nigerian Army were secretly moved to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) mortuary in Yaba.
Different sources had said the Lekki tollgate massacre victims were moved to the IDH mortuary after a postmortem examinations was conducted on their bodies at the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
The IDH mortuary is beside the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital (68 NARHY), a military health facility in Yaba.
It had been earlier reported that soldiers on October 20, 2020 opened fire on the protesters, who had converged at the Lekki tollgate to protest against police brutality.
The incident triggered a global outrage, with calls for justice echoing from different parts of the world.
It was gathered that before the shooting started, some officials uninstalled the Closed Circuit Television cameras in the area.
The electricity at the protest area was also disconnected to prevent demonstrators from filming the attack.
Minutes later, heavily armed Nigerian Army personnel moved into the scene to complete the plan. By the time sounds of their guns died down, dozens of protesters had been killed.