The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami says the judicial panel report on the #EndSARS protest can’t be relied upon to conclude that live ammunition was used by security operatives during the clash with protesters last year.
According to Malami on Wednesday, additional judicial and administrative processes are necessary before any conclusion can be drawn from the Lagos panel report.
The Minister made the submission during an interview with Channels Television.
Naija News recalls there had been fresh controversy on the October 20, 2020 Lekki Toll Gate incident after the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel set up by the state government to investigate the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekii Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 while presenting its report about two weeks ago (15th November) stated that lives were lost during the Lekki Toll Gate incident.
However, the White Paper on the report released on Tuesday night by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in Lagos State, disagreed with the judicial panel of inquiry and rejected its earlier submission that nine persons were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate when soldiers opened fire on protesters last year.
The Lagos State government in the White Paper, described the claim of killings by the panel as “assumptions and speculations”.
Speaking on the episodes during his TV interview on Wednesday evening, Malami said it will be premature to jump into any conclusion on the use of live ammunition by security operatives at the toll gate based on the content of the panel report.
In his words, “You (referring to the presenter) are jumping into a conclusion that live ammunition was indeed used during the #EndSARS.”
“Whether the report said so or it does not say so, as far as I’m concerned, I’m not in the position to ascertain because whatever it is, one, you said there was a report.
“And arriving from your submission, there was a white paper; arriving from the white paper, part of the report was rejected and part of it was admitted
“Within the context of the white paper too, you have criminal investigations that must naturally follow through the process of prosecution when the need arises.
“With or without the report, what I’m trying to say in essence, the report, in its own right, cannot be conclusive in establishing a position.
“There are still additional layers of administrative and judicial processes that would follow before you can jump into a particular conclusion establishing a point criminal or otherwise.
“I think as far as the report, in its own right, it is not conclusive of a provision of what truly transpired against the background of your submission that part of the report was indeed rejected by Lagos state government.
“And certainly, there are other investigative components that may at the end of the day translate to criminal prosecution and as such, it is indeed very premature for you to jump into conclusion that live ammunition was used.
“I’m not in the position to accept that from you and I can’t share in your conclusion as to whether indeed live ammunition was used. It is premature for me as a chief law officer to share in your conclusion in that direction.”
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