Tuesday’s statement by Lai Mohammed, Information Minister, stated that the panel report was leaked and shared widely on social media. It was “nothing except the triumph of fake information.”
Mohammed spoke at a press conference held in Abuja. He doubled down on government’s refusal to acknowledge the Lekki shooting.
CNN was also criticised by the minister for celebrating the report in an “hurry to claim vindication.”
Segun Awosanya, however, confirmed to CNN Wednesday that the panel’s conclusions were based upon objective facts and facts.
He said that the minister’s comments were inappropriate at a time when the country was still recovering from the Lekki incident.
Awosanya explained that Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s statement at the press conference “is not the correct way for such an issue to be addressed in a country that wants healing, justice, and to win the trust and support of the people.” She also stated that “the panel worked objectively, surgically… towards ensuring truth and the facts are permitted to emerge, and we gave recommendations based upon that.”
Awosanya, reacting to Mohammed’s assertion that the leaked report could not be trusted because its authenticity was in doubt, told CNN that hard copies had been sent to Lagos.
“The report is not a publicly available document. Leakage or not, it shouldn’t be the government’s problem. What matters is that we sent hard copies to government. The government has promised to reply to it within two weeks using a whitepaper and make the same public. He stated that the group had written and assembled the report and reached a consensus.
In its long-running report, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution of the Lagos Court of Arbitration stated that the shooting of protestors peacefully protesting alleged police brutality at the Lekki Toll Gate by Nigerian security officers could be considered a massacre.
Anthony Blinken, US Secretary-of-State, demanded action after the panel’s final report was released. He stated that “there may be reforms necessary” in order to prevent another similar event from happening.
CNN’s he said, “If there is any individual that, as it emerged from this report, is responsible for committing abuses then there should be accountability in terms those individuals.”
Despite video evidence and multiple witness statements from CNN, the Nigerian government has long denied that protesters were fired upon at the toll gate.