By our reporter/ The Lagos judicial panel on police brutality on Thursday responded to the white paper released by the state government earlier in the week.
According to a statement by Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a member of the panel, the state government is trying to evade responsibility by citing computer errors in the #EndSARS report.
In a white paper on the report, the Lagos government accepted 11 out of the 32 recommendations of the panel, rejected one and accepted six with modifications.
The Lagos government also said the finding of the panel that nine persons died is “irreconcilable” with the testimony of John Obafunwa, a pathologist.
However, the panel said the state could have reached out to members for clarifications where necessary.
“The chairperson, all panel members and indeed the secretariat of the Panel were all within the reach of the LASG for clarifications if there was sincerity, other than picking holes in order to evade responsibility on account of computer errors and tabular alignments of cut and paste,” the statement reads.
The panel further stated that the duplication of names on its list of casualties was as a result of a computer error, adding that they considered several dictionary definitions of the word ‘massacre’ before it was used.
“This was a misnomer from the spreadsheet that ought to have terminated at Page 297 but mistakenly overlapped to Page 298 with the same names and same numbers,” the panel said.
“It was the computer error of the secretariat of the panel which could have been corrected as the secretariat of the panel was domiciled in the ministry of justice at all times.
“In any event, the mere fact of repetition of same names on a table cannot without more, nullify the uncontroverted evidence of death.
“The panel considered several definitions of the word MASSACRE and adopted one of the dictionary meanings of MASSACRE as being ‘the act or instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty’.
“The Panel considered that firing live bullets at unarmed, peaceful and unresisting protesters which led to the death of some of them, was cruel and atrocious on the part of the military and the police. The White Paper ignored these explanations and findings by the Panel.”