Why Nigerian Army Intervened During EndSARS Protests – Lagos Govt | AfroNaija

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Why Nigerian Army intervened during EndSARS protests – Lagos Govt


Why Nigerian Army intervened during EndSARS protests – Lagos Govt

Why Nigerian Army intervened during EndSARS protests – Lagos Govt

The Lagos State Government has revealed why Nigerian Army intervened during the October 20, 2020 nationwide EndSARS protests against extrajudicial killings and police brutality by operatives of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, SARS, in the state.

According to the Babajide-Sanwo-Olu government, soldiers “intervened” during the EndSARS protests to assist civil authorities restore law and order in the state.

The State government stated this in its White Paper on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters which probed the EndSARS protests in the state last year.

WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel in its report had said at least nine persons were confirmed dead on the night soldiers stormed the Lekki toll plaza to disperse #EndSARS protesters.

In the report submitted to the Lagos State Government on November 15, 2021 – Titled, ‘Report of Lekki Incident Investigation Of 20th October 2020’, the panel said at least 48 protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullet wounds or assaulted by soldiers.

According to the report, nine protesters were confirmed dead, while four were presumed dead.

Among the 48, about 20 sustained gunshot injuries, while 13 others were assaulted by the military.

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry in its fifth recommendation had said that the “Nigeria (sic) Army be discouraged in intervening in internal security.”

Reacting to that recommendation, the state government said, “Lagos State Government observes that Section 217(2) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) states that the Armed Forces may “intervene to suppress insurrection and also to assist civil authorities to restore lawful order” which had clearly broken down in Lagos between 19th – 21st October 2020. See evidence of Brig. Gen. A.I. Taiwo on page 35, Mr. Muri-Okunola (Head of Service) on pages 120-126 and ACP. Oludotun Odubona on pages 219-223). Such intervention must however be with clear rules of engagement.”

In the White Paper released on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, the state government accepted 11 out of the 32 recommendations made by the judicial panel of inquiry, rejected one and accepted six with modifications while 14 recommendations fall outside the powers of Lagos State Government and will be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.

The government also accepted the panel’s recommendation that grievances address mechanism be improved upon to engender speedy attention and action, adding that it will engage youths more and utilise “dialogue” as a vital tool.

The Sanwo-Olu led-government promised to forward the panel’s recommendation for the training of security operatives on rules of engagements to manage protests to the Federal Government in charge of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.

The government also accepted that curfew regulations should be widely publicised and promised to designate a park in the state and name it, ‘Peace Park’ to serve as a reminder to Lagosians on the EndSARS protests.

The state government agreed with the panel that October 20 of every year would be made a ‘Toll-Free Day’ at the Lekki Toll Gate as long as the toll gate exists.

The post Why Nigerian Army intervened during EndSARS protests – Lagos Govt appeared first on NEWS.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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