Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, has dismissed the EndSARS report submitted by the Lagos judicial panel of inquiry on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters as an “intimidation of the majority by a minority”.
Mohammed in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, claimed the report did not follow the evidence at hand.
According to him, the Lagos Judicial panel shockingly compiled and submitted allegations made by Nigerians.
The nine-member panel had in its leaked report indicted soldiers and policemen for shooting, killing and maiming protesters at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020.
However, the minister described the allegations as “tales by moonlight” riddled with so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendos, omissions, and conclusions that are not supported by evidence
The statement reads in part: “There’s absolutely nothing in the report that is circulating to make us change our minds that there was a massacre in Lekki on October 20, 2020.
“Without mincing words, let me say that never in the history of any Judicial Panel in this country has its report been riddled with so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendos, omissions, and conclusions that are not supported by evidence. What is circulating in public space is simply a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of October.
“It is simply incredible that a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations, the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance. Instead of sitting for all of one year, the panel could have just compiled social media ‘tales by the moonlight’ on the incident and submitted, saving taxpayers’ funds and everyone’s time. That report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.”
Lai Mohammed noted that the report of the panel in circulation cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt, adding that the Lagos State Government, being the convening authority, is yet to release any official report to the public.
“The cowardly leakage of an unsigned report to the public is not enough. Assuming the report in circulation bears any iota of genuineness, it is basic knowledge that the report of such a panel is of no force until the convening authority issues a White Paper and Gazette on it. It is therefore too premature for any person or entity to seek to castigate the Federal Government and its agencies or officials based on such an unofficial and invalidated report,” he said.