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Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Lagos to release Endsars panel white paper, promises justice

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said that the White Paper on the report submitted by the EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry on November 15 will be released today (Tuesday).

The governor, who spoke on Tuesday on the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, said, “As an administration, we are determined that the next steps that will be taken in this process of coming to terms with the events of October 2020, must bring closure to a painful episode in the history of our state, with the release of the White Paper later today.”

The much anticipated White Paper, which is an administrative medium for conveying the decision or position of the government on the report of an administrative or judicial enquiry, may either bring a closure to the event of October 20, last year or inflame more passion among the populace.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration has “sincere commitment to uncovering the truth” about the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, adding that “no member of the panel can claim that the state government made any attempt to influence them in any way throughout the duration of its sitting.”

“While I commend the panel for undertaking its task to the best of its abilities, it is however regrettable that the panel’s work and the leakage of an unauthorized version of the report have generated much tension. Sadly, a deep wound has been reopened.

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“The heated exchanges among various shades of opinion on the report have unfortunately put us all at the risk of missing the larger picture; the fact that what we all seek in common is a land in which we are all safe and secure, law enforcement agents are trusted, and justice is guaranteed for all.

“As I have stated earlier, we have no intention to engage in histrionics or further inflame passion on a matter that has generated intense interest and controversy nationally and internationally.

“Our decisions and actions will be based entirely on the law, the weight of evidence and an unblemished respect for the truth,” the governor added.

“To be a Centre of Excellence, we must be a Centre of Truth. To be a smart city, we first must be a just one. To be a prosperous state, we must establish ourselves as a peaceful entity.

“And to achieve the Greater Lagos of our dreams we must learn to live in harmony, even amidst inevitable disagreement.

“I have never been in any doubt as to the sincerity, patriotism and noble motivations of both organisers of and participants in the movement to see an end to the human rights abuses by the now disbanded Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS.

“It is also on record that the Federal Government accepted all the demands of the protesters, including the immediate scrapping of SARS,” the Governor declared.

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