A human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), has said the Lagos State Government did not make any copy of its white papers available to the members of the END SARS Judicial Panel.
The panel had submitted its report to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu last week after reviewing the occurrence and confirming that people were killed at the Lekki toll gate by security forces.
The lawyer also lamented that the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, during an interview with AriseTV on Wednesday, tried to cover up many truths in the report.
Adegboruwa stated that the government's response suggested financial misappropriation by members of the panel.
The senior advocate of Nigeria stated that he served on the panel without collecting money from Lagos State, adding that other members of the panel gave their all.
“There will be no holds barred, since the government itself has opened the doors for public scrutiny of the report and the white papers," he said.
Adegboruwa disclosed these in a statement titled, ‘#EndSARS Panel Report: The Siege Is Over’ which was made available to SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
The statement read in parts, “Since November 15, 2021, when the reports of the #EndSARS Judicial Panel were submitted to the Lagos State Government, a good number of my colleagues, friends, and admirers prevailed on me to refrain from further public pronouncements on the activities and reports of the panel since the government was studying the said reports.
“Upon the submission of the said reports, lawyers on the payroll of the government and other employees of the government took turns to denigrate the reports, on national television, in paid adverts in newspapers, and on social media.
“Ministers in the cabinet of the Federal Government have also commented on the reports, in some cases calling members of the panel unprintable names and even comparing victims of brutality and human rights abuses to goats and taunting their already traumatized families and friends.
“On November 30, 2021, the government released two separate White Papers, to the general public. The panel was not informed of this action and it was not availed copies of the said White Papers, till this moment.
“The committee that reviewed the reports of the panel and which produced the White Papers was headed by the Honourable Attorney-General of Lagos State.
“On December 1, 2021, the Honourable Attorney-General of Lagos State was a guest on Arise Television, where he took time to discuss the reports of the panel and the contents of the White Papers that his committee produced. The impression was also created that the panel mismanaged funds released to it.
“It has become necessary therefore for me and all other members of the panel to study the White Papers and make appropriate responses thereto."
The lawyer further said that the report submitted by the panel was based on the proof from witnesses, adding that all defects contained in the White Paper released by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration would be revealed in the nearest future.
“For the records, the panel relied on the evidence of witnesses and documents tendered before it and the goodwill of the people of Nigeria, throughout its assignment.
“It is painful for me and the panel that the government is creating the wrong impression of financial impropriety as a tool of distraction when the panel had a secretariat that managed all its funds, through the Ministry of Justice.
“Although I served on the panel free of charge without collecting a dime, I know as a fact that other members served sacrificially, giving up their time, families and careers for a whole year.
“At the appropriate time, we will respond to all the inaccuracies, the coverups and the inconsistencies contained in the White Papers released by the government.
“Assuredly, nothing can ever cover the truth. What happened at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, was already in the public domain; those who received the bullets knew what happened and the doctors that treated them knew what happened. The panel reports only confirmed what most Nigerians already knew,” Adegboruwa added.