A scathing condemnation from a newspaper publisher and former Managing Director of NAN News Agency of Nigeria), Mr Bayo Onanuga, has greeted the indictment of some senior government officials by the Justice Doris Okuwobi Judicial Panel on the Lekki tollgate #EndSARS massacre in October 2020.
Onanuga, who was until 2019 called the shots as NAN MD with Information Minister Lai Mohammed as supervising minister, asked the “man” in the centre of disinformation in the whole saga to resign immediately for telling a lie, denying that there was no massacre.
Persecondnews.com recalls that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had stridently claimed that there was no evidence to show that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020 during a press conference held in Abuja who young people took to the streets nationwide to mark the first anniversary of the EndSARS protests.
He also faulted the claim by Amnesty International that no fewer than 12 protesters were killed in Lagos State by security operatives during the EndSARS protest, describing the claim as a ‘phantom’.
Mohammed asked the highly reputed Cable News Network (CNN), DJ Switch among others to “apologise for misleading the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate and for portraying the Nigerian military, police and other security agencies in a bad light.”
Persecondnews.com reported that the panel submitted its report to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday after a year-long sitting.
The panel, among others, recommended that all soldiers (excluding Major General Omata), who were deployed in the Lekki tollgate, should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action, stripped of their ranks and dismissed.
Onanuga said:”Nigeria is the only country in the world where public officials rarely resign, when they betray public trust egregiously or openly lie to the people.
“We now know the truth that there was indeed a massacre of defenceless young Nigerians by soldiers and policemen at the Lekki Toll Gate on 20-10-2020, contrary to the official lies that it didn’t happen.”
On the disinformation about the state-organized massacre of unarmed protesting youths at the plaza by security forces including soldiers, Onanuga said: “The man who told the biggest lie and even embarrassed Nigeria by demanding an apology from CNN is still sitting pretty in office.
“Now that his lies have blown on his face, one expects that he should be honourable enough to resign and apologise to all those young Nigerians that he grossly offended.
“If he does not, one expects the President to demand his resignation letter. Nigeria deserves to be a country of honourable men and women.”
To President Muhammadu Buhari, Onanuga said:”Integrity should be our watchword. President Integrity, over to you…”
The organisation claimed the minister lied to Nigerians, adding that his claims have now been contradicted by a judicial panel in Lagos.
It said in a statement issued against the backdrop of the issuance of a conclusive judicial report by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Investigations into the Lekki incident last year.
Though Mohammed had claimed there was no killing, the panel said there was a massacre in ‘context’.
The report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution on Lekki Toll Gate Shooting Incident and Cases of Police Brutality, as well as human rights violations, accused the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police of complicity in the death of protesters at the Lekki tollgate in 2020.
The 309-page report detailed how the Army and police disregarded their “rules of engagement” to orchestrate the bloodbath at the plaza.
Persecondnews.com quotes from the Executive Summary of the report: “The panel in its report found that on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki Toll Gate, officers of the Nigerian Army shot, injured and killed unarmed, helpless and defenceless 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.”