EndSARS: PROFESSOR KINGSLEY MOGHALU SPEAKS ON LEKKI TOLL GATE MASSACRE INQUIRY REPORT
Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former Presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) who has recently declared his intentions to join the 2023 Presidential Race under the platform of of ADC, has reacted to the Lagos EndSARs Panel report submitted to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu on Monday.
The panel who had on Monday submitted their equiry to the Lagos State Government, had indicted soldiers and implicated Nigeria’s security agents in the killing and forced disappearances of harmless and unarmed youths protesting at Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020.
The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel made the revelation in a 309-page report submitted to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Reacting, Moghalu called on Nigeria’s President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Buhari to make sure that those behind the killings at Lekki tollgate are made to face the law.
He however, sent once again his heartfelt condolence to family of those killed on the night of 20-10-2020.
Read the full release below:
LEKKI TOLL GATE MASSACRE INQUIRY REPORT: PRESS STATEMENT BY PROFESSOR KINGSLEY MOGHALU
Now that the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry has affirmed that peaceful Nigerian citizens protesting police brutality were massacred at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos a year ago, the individuals in the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force who gave the unlawful orders for the extra judicial killings — as well as those who pulled the trigger –must pay for their crimes with prosecution and imprisonment.
As I said when the news of the killings broke to the world, these are violations of international humanitarian law in addition to national laws. This was mass murder, and attempted mass murder, pure and simple. The perpetrators must not go free, and adequate restitution — which also is within the mandate of the judicial panel — must be made to all the protesters who were murdered in cold blood, injured or assaulted.
As a United Nations official in the mid-1990s, I trained Cambodian and Croatian security institutions in human rights standards to prevent the kind of extrajudicial killings and police brutality that occurred at Lekki and which the #EndSARS protests confronted. Nigeria has turned into a country marked by an increasing rise of official lawlessness, arbitrariness and repression of its citizens by agencies of the Government. This does not behoove a country that claims to be a democracy. Root and branch reform of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force on respect for the human rights of Nigerian civilians remains urgently needed. It must not only be declared as done or as a rhetorical objective. It must be seen to have happened going forward.
President Muhammadu Buhari should take responsibility as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces for the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre. He must ensure and enforce accountability for this heinous crime by troops and other security agents under his ultimate command. At the very least, in addition to judicial accountability for the victims, he and his Government owe the families of the victims and Nigerians in general a formal and unreserved apology for this tragic occurrence.
I offer my heartfelt condolences once again to the families of the deceased victims of the Lekki Massacre. October 20, 2020 was a day that will live in infamy in the history of Nigeria. May the blood of our youth shed by those whose duty it was to protect their lives not have been spilled in vain. May this kind of tragedy never happen again in our land.
Kingsley Moghalu OON