The Lagos state authorities has claimed that a lot of the accidents sustained by #EndSARS protesters on the Lekki tollgate had been from machete cuts and stampede.
The state’s head of service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, made this declare on Tuesday when he appeared earlier than the Lagos judicial panel on police brutality to signify the state authorities.
Muri-Okunola introduced earlier than the panel, a timeline of the actions of the Lagos state authorities in the course of the #EndSARS protests, together with the Lekki tollgate taking pictures, The Cable experiences.
According to him, the state authorities established an advert hoc committee, known as the incident command centre, in the course of the protests to watch the safety state of affairs in Lagos.
He said that when Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu visited Reddington Hospital and General Hospital, Marina, on October 21, 2020, it was found that 25 sufferers had been receiving remedy within the two hospitals.
The head of service was quoted as saying, “Due to the monitoring activities of the incident command centre, we were informed that there were indeed casualties in some of our hospitals in Lagos. There were more than other places — based on our feedback and information monitoring — in Reddington hospital on Admiralty way, and in General hospital, Marina.
“Getting to about 10: 30 pm (on October 20, 2020), the governor then decided that we should go out to see what was going on for ourselves — a decision that his core security personnel rejected outrightly as unsafe.
“At about 12: 30 am, 21st October — we have crossed to midnight now — because of the number of people that were reported to have been in Reddington hospital, the governor, against the said security advice, decided to visit and see what was going on at the toll plaza, the Reddington hospital and General hospital, Lagos.
“In this Reddington hospital, these individuals were injured in that axis. Some of them alluded to being injured in a stampede of running, falling over each other.
“Predominantly, there were about 13 people injured in Reddington hospital Admiralty way. The General Hospital also had 12 patients. The doctors in charge said there was one of those patients that were being moved to LASUTH, who had more severe injuries from machete wounds.
“At the time we were there, most of the injuries were all in the nature of cuts, bruises from machete wounds and stampede. Nobody at the hospitals said they were shot at.”
He additionally echoed Sanwo-Olu’s declare that solely two individuals died on account of the incident at Lekki tollgate.
“The Lagos state governor confirmed two deaths — one of which was said to have died at Reddington hospital on Admiralty way, who died as a result of blunt force trauma, and the other at Yaba. The governor stated that there was going to be an investigation to confirm the nexus of the death in the incident of Lekki,” he added.
Muri-Okunola additionally insisted that social media performed a serious position in the course of the #EndSARS protests, stating that on-line actions contributed to the “wanton destruction” that occurred in the course of the demonstrations.
“The incitement of this misinformation played a major role in the mayhem, wanton destruction and loss of lives that followed the Lekki incident throughout Lagos state, costing taxpayers losses that may take years and billions of naira to mitigate.
“There has been controversy about the actual number of alleged deaths at the Lekki toll incident. However, since 22 October 2020, many of the people reported to have been killed issued denunciation of their rumoured deaths.”
During cross-examination, Adesina Ogunlana, counsel for #EndSARS protesters, requested the pinnacle of service concerning the identification of these concerned within the taking pictures at Lekki tollgate.
“Can you confirm that men from Bonny camp were at the scene?” Ogunlana requested.
“That is what I heard. Based on the information that we heard, military men from Bonny camp were there,” Muri-Okunola responded.
At the listening to, the pinnacle of service introduced a doc detailing the non-public and public properties destroyed in the course of the #EndSARS protests.
The case was adjourned until June 29, 2021, to allow Olumide Fusika, one other counsel to #EndSARS protesters, to cross-examine the pinnacle of service.