Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has promised that the Closed Circuit television footage obtained from the Lekki toll plaza will be handed over to the panel of inquiry looking into the shootings.
Sanwo-Olu made the promise while featuring on the ‘Connect the World with Becky Anderson programme’ on CNN on Monday, while responding to questions on the shootings at the Lekki toll plaza on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
The governor said no blood stains were seen at the Lekki toll plaza when it was inspected, but added that two persons had been reported dead.
He said, “Two dead bodies, that is what we have seen from all the morgues, that’s what we have seen going to hospitals, that’s what we have seen as record.
“What has happened is that there have been so many footages that were seen, that people have shown, but we have not seen bodies; we have not seen relatives; we have not seen anybody truly coming out to say ‘I am a father or a mother to someone and I cannot find that person’.
“Nobody has turned up. I have been to the ground. There is no blood anywhere there.”
When asked if it was soldiers that perpetrated the act, the governor said footage showed that soldiers indeed carried out the shooting.
“From the footage that we could see, because there were cameras at that facility; it seems to me that they would be men in military uniform. That’s what the footage shows,” the governor said.
When asked if the soldiers would be brought to justice, Sanwo-Olu said he would do everything within his power to ensure that those found culpable were punished.
When probed further, the governor explained that he was not the commander-in-chief and all he could do was to forward his recommendations to the appropriate authorities.
“I am not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The report will be out; we will channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the state to ensure that everyone that is found culpable is held accountable for the act,” he said.
On whether he was under international pressure to act, Sanwo-Olu said there was nothing of the sort.
The governor said he was in support of the #EndSARS movement and had on occasions joined the youth in pressing for police reforms.
“I genuinely believe there would be change. For two reasons; what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. Also, it was a clarion call for all of us in government understanding and realising what the youth want us to be doing. It hit all of us like a thunderbolt and it was just a wake-up call.”
He, however, said the casualty figures remained a major controversy as no one had come forward to complain about losing a relative in the incident.
Sanwo-Olu described the Special Anti-Robbery Squad as a poorly trained and inadequately paid police unit that was known for oppressing the youth.
The governor said, “I think it is a group that has been ill-trained; they have been ill-motivated; they have not been fully equipped with standard operative template for them to know and appreciate the level of their level of responsibility in our society, that’s why it seems that they just went off the cuff completely, probably also because they were not well remunerated and compensated, everybody that drives a flashy car, they feel they can extort. Unfortunately, that is condemnable.”