…There errors in leaked report, says panel member
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Godfrey Bivbere with agency reports
FORMER Federal Commissioner of Works, Mr. Femi Okunnu, yesterday, urged the Lagos State government to publish the full report of the Lagos judicial panel on police brutality.
This came as the youth representative on the panel, Temitope Majekodunmi, yesterday, insisted that there are errors in the panel’s report currently in circulation.
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caucus in the House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the visiting Secretary of State of United States of America, Anthony Bliken, to hold the Federal Government responsible for human rights abuses in the country.
Reacting to the EndSARS report, Mr. Okunnu, who spoke in an interview on Arise Television, said but for his age, he would have joined youths to protest at the Lekki Tollgate last year.
Okunnu said: “If not for an age, I could have been at the Lekki Tollgate myself to demonstrate against the government of Nigeria and Lagos state.”
On Lagos State government’s decision to set up a committee to work on producing a white paper on the report, Okunnu said: “The Lagos State Government cannot hide it because members of the panel have their copies. The report should be published in full. The purpose of a white paper is for government to set its views paragraphs by paragraph. It’s not to rewrite the report.”
There are errors in leaked, says panel member
Also reacting to the report, Majekodunmi, in a statement, said: “A leaked report of the Panel has been in circulation. I got numerous calls and messages from various persons asking me to confirm if the report was authentic.
“While others were particular about the error of name duplications, it is imperative to note that the leaked report in circulation is not far from the original, but I can confirm that the original is without all the identified errors.
“Furthermore, we did approve the report for print after several reviews of typographical error, omission of some documents but duplicated as final edit; final, final edits and final of the finals of edit.
“Regardless of errors identified, it is important that we stick to the facts of the findings and its recommendations contained therein and also interpret appropriately.
“This report is all encompassing for the reasoning of peace and justice. I am sure every one of you must have gone through the details.”
Lagos govt call for caution
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has urged Lagos residents to wait for White Paper on the report.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement, said: “The Lagos State government has noted the various reactions that have followed the submission of the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters. There have been arguments in the public space over the report. There is need for us to restrain ourselves from nullifying the good intentions of the government in setting up this Panel, which was well encouraged to do its job – a fact that was acknowledged by the Panel.
“In accordance with the Tribunal of Inquiry Law 2015, a committee has been set up to bring up a White Paper on the report to determine the next line of action. At the appropriate time, the Government will make known its views on all the issues raised by the Panel through the release of a White Paper.”
PDP Reps caucus tasks US govt on human rights abuses in Nigeria
Meanwhile, leader of the PDP caucus, Mr. Kingsley Chinda urged the United States Government, through Secretary Bliken, to hold the Nigerian Government responsible for violence to suppress peaceful protesters, particularly activists of the #EndSARS Movement In a statement.
Chinda said: “It is our fervent hope that Secretary Bliken will engage the government’s failure to address the increasing terrorist attacks in Nigeria.”
“Secretary Bliken should as a matter of urgency hold the Nigerian Government to account for the wanton assaults on rights, abuse of state power, systematic use of state violence to suppress peaceful protesters, particularly activists of the #EndSARS Movement and campaigners for self-determination, extra-judicial killings, intimidation of the judiciary; and declare to this government that abuses of human rights have consequences.”