Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said that a leaked Lagos State Government memo on the secret mass burial of 103 victims of the October 2020 EndSARS protest is one of the many surprises to come. Adegboruwa, who was a member of the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters, made this statement during an interview on Channels Television’s “Law Weekly” on Saturday. According to him, on the night of the 20th day of October, in the year 2020, there were tragic fatalities that nobody in Nigeria would claim not to be aware of.
“The leaked memo from the Ministry of Health of Lagos State is one of the many surprises that people will still see over time so long as the government has not come to terms with the reality of the events of October 20th, 2020,” he said. Soldiers raged the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos state, where youths gathered to protest police brutality and extrajudicial killings, on the night of October 20, 2020.
“Maybe the challenge would be the quantum or the number of such fatalities. “But to blanketly assert that there was no death or there was no blood spilled in any way at all as a result in particular of gunshots by members of the Nigerian Army is to do a disservice to the souls of those people who are affected,” said Adegboruwa. The quotations are from the Vanguard newspaper.
The contested incident was rebuked by human rights groups including Amnesty International while also attracting world-wide outrage. As 2020 EndSARS victims sparked outrage, a leaked memo addressed to the Lagos State Ministry of Health indicating that the state government approved N61,285,000 for the mass burial of 103 persons was identified. The memo with the date July 19, 2023, captured steps for the processing of funds after it had been approved by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos state.
Subsequently, the letter was confirmed in a statement by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, on 23rd July, 2023. It however insisted that the bodies were not from the Lekki toll gate but were picked by the Lagos State Environmental Health Unit (SEHU) from areas such as Ketu, Orile, Ajah, Abule-Egba, Fagba, Ajegunle, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Ojota, Ogba, Ekoro and Isolo.
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