Military Makes A U-Flip, Seems Earlier than Lagos Panel Saturday


File photograph: EndSARS protesters

Opposite to the choice it made final week, the Nigerian Military, has no stated it should seem  on Saturday earlier than the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged taking pictures of #EndSARS peaceable protesters by troopers on  October 20 on the Lekki tollgate.

Sources near the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel confirmed to The PUNCH on Thursday that the military had acknowledged the panel’s invitation and the panel had fastened Saturday (November 7) for its look on the listening to going down on the Lagos Court docket of Arbitration, Lekki.

Recall that for 2 weeks final month, youths calling for the disbanding of the Particular Anti-Theft Squad of the Nigeria Police protested throughout the nation.

In Lagos, the protests assumed a tragic dimension when troopers shot protesters on the Lekki tollgate.

The shootings have attracted native and worldwide condemnations with Amnesty Worldwide saying that no fewer than 12 individuals had been killed.

Sunday PUNCH  on November 1 reported that the Lagos State panel had invited the 81 Division of the Nigerian Military, whose troopers had been alleged to have carried out the shootings.

However the spokesman for the Nigerian Military, 81 Division, Lagos, Main Osoba Olaniyi,  stated the military wouldn’t honour a summons from the panel as the military believed that it was not the panel’s “responsibility” to ask the military.

Olaniyi had harassed that the navy would solely seem earlier than the panel if it acquired an invite immediately from the Lagos State Authorities, slightly than the panel.

“If we obtain a letter from the state, we’ll go. Are we not below civil authorities? Are we not a part of Nigerians? Have you ever forgotten that we didn’t go there (Lekki tollgate) on our personal?.

“It’s the state authorities that constituted that panel of inquiry. So, if anyone must get in contact with us to return, it’s nonetheless the state, not the members,” Olaniyi had stated.

However on Thursday, a number of sources confirmed to The PUNCH that the military had modified its place and could be presenting its case earlier than the panel on Saturday.

One of many sources near the panel, who spoke on situation of anonymity, stated, “Opposite to its earlier posture of resistance, the Nigerian Military appears to have bowed to stress in respect of the invitation to seem earlier than the Lagos panel on SARS. The Military will seem earlier than the panel on Saturday.  That’s the day the panel has fastened for the Military to seem.

“You recognize the panel was arrange with the approval of the Nationwide Govt Council and President Muhammadu Buhari has all the time assured Nigerians and certainly the worldwide neighborhood of full cooperation with the panel, so the Military can’t afford to disregard the invitation from the panel duly signed by its chairperson, who’s a judicial officer.

“The entire world is watching us and all eyes are on the panel, particularly in respect of the Lekki Tollgate. The Military is vital to the work of the panel and it’ll erode public confidence within the authorities if any of its establishments snubs the panel with impunity. In spite of everything, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, so how can the military brazenly defy the Panel that its personal Commander-in-Chief has endorsed?”

The supply dismissed the concern that the panel may not be goal because it was arrange by the Governor of Lagos State, whom the Military stated referred to as for the troopers who engaged the peaceable protesters at Lekki tollgate.

When contacted on the phone, the spokesman for 81 Division of the Nigerian Military,  Olaniyi, stated, “When you’ve got any query, go and meet the panel, don’t come and ask me. The panel is finishing up the investigation, go and meet the panel. I don’t have any remark.”

Additional efforts to get Osoba to reply different questions had been rebuffed as he hung up the decision in the course of the phone dialog.

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