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Lagos #EndSARS panel report controversy rages

The controversy over the report of the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry on Restitution of Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Related Matters raged yesterday with a witness, Kamsiyochukwu Ibe, claiming that he was attacked with machetes.

A member of the panel, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa (SAN), also alleged a threat to his life because of the controversial report.

Last Monday, the panel submitted two documents — a consolidated report on cases of police brutality and another on the Lekki shooting — to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The governor consequently set up a four-man committee to examine the documents within two weeks and “bring forward the White Paper” that would be considered by the state executive council.

Few hours later, a version of the 309-page document appeared in the media space.

In that version, the panel said the “killing of unarmed protesters by soldiers on October 20, 2020, could be described in the context of a ‘massacre’”.

The report immediately elicited mixed reactions, with some persons citing errors in it.

While some hailed the report, others queried the panel members’ competence and integrity.

Ibe, who was a key witness during the panel’s sittings, said she was targeted for elimination on Sunday night at Sangotedo area of Ajah for refusing to stop her activism over the Lekki Tollgate incident.

Her lawyer, Adesina Ogunlana, said the attack on Ibe was the latest in a series of threats that forced many #EndSARS petitioners to go underground.

He added in a statement that   the attackers, after inflicting machete cuts on his client, told her:”When you die, go and continue in heaven.”

His claims are contained in a statement that he read on behalf of “New Nigeria Network,” a coalition of #EndSARS groups and other #EndSARS forces at a news conference in Lagos.

Ogunlana, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch, said Ibe, who was also one of the movement’s star witnesses, was left for dead.

His words: “Yesterday (Sunday) night, enemies of the EndSars Movement and protest launched a murderous attack on one of the leaders of the movement, Kamsiyochukwu Ibeh.

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