Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has disclosed that the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry’s report on the alleged Lekki Toll Gate shooting is “a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of October 20, 2020.”
Lai in a press conference held in Abuja on Tuesday made this known.
According to the minister, the report submitted by a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident is laden with allegations, “the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance”.
He said, “What is circulating in public space is simply a rehash of the unverified fake news that has been playing on social media since the incident of Oct. 20th, 2020.
“It is simply incredible that a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations. Instead of sitting for all of one year, the panel could have just compiled social media ‘tales by the moonlight’ on the incident and submitted, saving taxpayers’ funds and everyone’s time.
“That report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.”
He added that ”The Team finds that from the medical data examined, including the timeline of arrival at a medical facility and the nature of the injuries sustained by the victims, who were taken to the 5 medical facilities, that no military grade live ammunition (high-velocity) was fired at the protesters at Lekki Tollgate on 20th October 2020, within the timeframe of reference (18.30- 20.34hrs).”
Lai also said, “It is clear, from the ongoing, that the report of the panel in circulation cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt. Besides, the Lagos State Government, being the convening authority, has yet to release any official report to the public.
“Neither has the panel done so. The cowardly leakage of an unsigned report to the public is not enough. Assuming the report in circulation bears any iota of genuineness, it is basic knowledge that the report of such a panel is of no force until the convening authority issues a White Paper and Gazette on it.”
In addition, Lai Mohammed also noted that “it is therefore too premature for any person or entity to seek to castigate the Federal Government and its agencies or officials based on such an unofficial and unvalidated report.”