US looking forward to submission of EndSARS report

US looking forward to submission of EndSARS report

United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has said that the submission of the report by the Lagos panel is an important step towards accountability for killings and rights abuses allegedly committed by some operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.

Speaking on Friday in a meeting with civil society organisations in Abuja, Blinken, who is on a two-day official visit to Nigeria said the report by the Lagos panel was critical and the United States was awaiting the actions which would be taken afterward.

The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel submitted its report to the Lagos State Government, noting that at least nine persons were confirmed dead at the Lekki toll plaza when soldiers stormed the tollgate to disperse EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

The 309-page report stated, “The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags and while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a massacre in context.”

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who received the report on Monday, constituted a Committee to bring forward a White Paper within the next two weeks to be considered by the Lagos State Executive Council.

Blinken had met with President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday at Aso Rock. Buhari had assured that the Federal Government was waiting on Lagos State and other state governments to come up with their conclusions.

Speaking with CSOs on Friday, Blinken said: “We saw the conclusion this week of the independent Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry’s work and the transmission of its final report. And this is clearly an important step toward accountability for the killings and other abuses alleged to have been committed by security forces during the EndSARS protests, a year ago.

“So, we’re very much looking forward to the federal government and the Lagos state government and other state governments taking measures to address the alleged abuses, as well as the grievances of victims and their families.

“Reports are critical, but what counts as much and even more is whether there’s action that follows those reports.”

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