…Report should be published in full, says Femi Okunnu
…As PDP Reps caucus wants the US govt to speak against human rights abuses in Nigeria
By Godfrey Bivbere & Levinus Nwabughiogu, LAGOS
THE youth representative on the Lagos judicial panel on police brutality, Temitope Majekodunmi, yesterday, insisted that there are errors in the panel’s report currently in circulation.
Majekodunmi, in a statement, said: “A leaked report of the Panel has been in circulation since yesterday, and 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 a 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.
“To provide a summary, you can find an executive summary of the report on pages 11-15, background on page 16, general proceedings on pages 17-280, panel findings on pages 281-304, a compendium of recommendations on pages 305-300 and the conclusion to page 305.
“The report of the panel further validates our position that peaceful protesters were injured and/or killed by security operatives who were meant to protect us. The findings of the panel, and most importantly, the recommendations are now in the public domain.
“In conclusion, it is not the time to rest or sleep; it is the time to peacefully demand accountability and ensure that the recommendations of the panel are implemented.
“It is the time to ensure that our fallen heroes do not die in vain and that citizens of Nigeria are never afraid to peacefully protest in their native country.”
Meanwhile, a former Federal Commissioner of Works, Mr Femi Okunnu, yesterday, urged the Lagos State government to publish the full report of the panel.
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 that 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.”
PDP Reps caucus wants US govt to speak against human rights abuses in Nigeria
Meanwhile, the leader of the PDP caucus, Mr Kingsley Chinda urged the United States Government, through Secretary Bliken, to hold the Nigerian Government responsible for the 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.
“We expect that he would use his visit to address the growing human rights abuses, increasing threats to democracy, insecurity, and corruption in Nigeria.
“Our country cannot afford the luxury of losing military officers to terrorists when it can seek strategic military and counter-insurgency assistance from the United States that has for many years built strategic and sustained military and intelligence frameworks for fighting terrorism.
“We note that the insistence of the Government of United States that all strategic military, anti-terrorism and counter-insurgency engagements must be in accord with the Leahy laws.
“Beyond all of this, and as strategic partners, with shared vision and future for peace, we are convinced that the shared vision and future are impossible without the United States showing more than a passing and curious interest on respect for human rights.
“The nexus between human rights and peace is beyond contest. Sustainable development is only possible when human rights become the cornerstone of governance.
“Under this government, human rights abuses have become the spur of violent conflicts, halting economic progress, growth and development.
“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.”