Police lost 22 personnel, 205 stations as panel finds bullet casings at Lekki tollgate

Inspector-General (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has said that 22 police personnel were extrajudicially killed by hoodlums and scores of others injured during the #EndSARs protest and violence that followed it.

“Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals” while 205 police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters, he said.

Adamu disclosed this in a statement signed by Force Spokesman, DCP Frank Mba on Friday in reaction to Amnesty International’s report dated October 21, that alleged “Police personnel shot at peaceful protesters.”

He described the report “as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidences.”

Adamu said that “despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report.”

“It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to Police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland.

“The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen in the report.

“One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person,” he queried.

Adamu stated that officers of the Nigeria police force acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints in the face of provocation that led to some of them paying the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.

The police boss noted that during the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-byside with the protesters.

He reiterated that even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.

While stating that the Force is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing holistic reforms of the NPF targeted at improving service delivery, positive police-citizen relationship and respect for human rights, he enjoins Amnesty International to ensure they subject their reports to adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public.

In a related development, members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry have found five bullet shell casings at the scene of the October 20, Lekki Tollgate alleged shooting by operatives of the Nigerian Army.

The panel led by Justice Dorris Okuwobi (rtd) made the discovery during an inspection of the shooting scene on Friday.

The bullet shell casings were found on the floor and in the drainage. According to the panel, the casings will be used as evidence in an ongoing investigation into the killing of #EndSARS protesters.

Earlier, the Managing Director (MD) of the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), Mr. Abayomi Omoruwa, and the Head of the Legal Department of LCC, Mr. Gbolahan Agboluwaje had appeared before the judicial panel to present the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage recovered following the shooting.

Omomuwa, had told the panel that the CCTV cameras were mounted on a mast at the toll gate area, and was working during the shootings.

He also told the panel that the footage of the incident captured by the CCTV was currently not working due to damage caused by rampaging hoodlums on October 21.

It was learnt that Okwuobi had said that subsequent proceedings could not continue because Omoruwa had no legal representation.

She had also stated that the panel had not admitted the Oct. 20 footage as evidence and that when it is admitted in evidence, it will be played at the proceedings.

The chairperson adjourned the proceedings until Nov. 3 for the testimony to be given by the MD of LCC.

The panel had also visited the Military Hospital Morgue, where it was alleged that soldiers had taken some corpse to after the shooting.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: IGP faults Amnesty reports, insists police didn’t shoot

While members of the the panel were not initially allowed to access the facility, the Nigerian Army later yielded to the demands of the panel.

In a video shared by the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, members of the panel were conduced round the Military Hospital Morgue in Ikoyi Olaniyi said.

“Above video is the board instituted by the Lagos State Government to investigate the alleged Lekki massacre being granted access to inspect the military hospital morgue. We have nothing to hide. ”

Read the Source post on Daily Times Nigeria.