ENDSars Protest: Change.org Reinstates Omokri's Petition Calling ICC To Prosecute Buhari Over Lagos Toll Gate Massacre
- Nigerian government dismisses massacre report.
Change.org has reinstated a petition calling for the prosecution of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The petition was filed by Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan.
The petition garnered over 90,000 signatures before it was taken down by the website on 20 November for possible violation.
Reno Omokri's petition reads, "On October 20, 2020, the Buhari administration murdered multiple innocent, unarmed, peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in a massacre that has since been dubbed #LekkiMassacre," the petition reads.
"These youths were protesting to put an end to the rampant police brutality that had become the hallmark of the Buhari regime, which treats so-called repentant Boko Haram almost like royalty, while coming hard on young Nigerians, sometimes for the flimsiest reason, such as wearing dreadlocks.
"Following the murders of these protesters, the Buhari administration denied that the incident ever occurred. They threatened those, like myself, who insisted, with proof, that this massacre happened. The Government even threatened to jail people who called for those behind the murders to be brought to book."
The petition was addressed to International Criminal Court (ICC) a few hours after the Lagos State Judiciary Panel of Inquiry submitted its report, which says nine harmless protesters were killed at the Lekki toll gate on October 2, 2020.
Lagos Governor constituted a four-person panel to scrutinize the report and produce a white paper, local online news, Premium Times report on Friday.
The Committee was headed by Doris Okwubi and the report was submitted to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday.
According to the panel's report, armed soldiers "massacred" unarmed protesters despite several contrary arguments from the Nigerian Government.
Mr Omokri had thought the site was hacked by Mr Buhari's apologists, however, in response to Standard Gazette query on Tuesday, the petition website explained that it suspended the petition briefly after it received several reports of its potential policy violation.
"Thank you for reaching out. We temporarily removed the petition as concerns were flagged regarding a potential policy violation, which we take very seriously in order to protect our users," the Change.org country Director, Wale Ajiboye replies to SG.
He added, "Upon immediate investigation, we have confirmed that the petition is not in violation of our Community Guidelines and have reinstated the petition."
Nigerian Government Picks Hole On Report
Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has claimed that the report by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry was laced with errors.
According to Mr Mohammed, the report was full of "speculations, discrepancies, inconsistencies, omissions and innuendoes that are not supported by evidence"
The Nigerian government is claimed there were no bodies to prove the massacre occurred despite several reports including CNN.
The daring report dismissed the Nigerian government's claimed and stated that dozens of Nigerian protesters were killed at the toll gate in October 2020 while singing National Anthem.
The protesters were killed by the same law enforcement agencies they were on the street to protest against and the government has continued to make efforts to discredit the multiple massacre reports.
Mr Mohammed who finally reacted to the report on Tuesday while speaking with journalists said
“Without mincing words, let me say that never in the history of any Judicial Panel in this country has its report been riddled with so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendoes, omissions, and conclusions that are not supported by evidence. 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 October 20, 2020.
“It is simply incredible that a Judicial Panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations, the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance. 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.
“One commentator, a lawyer, said it raised more questions than answers. Another commentator, a journalist, called it a ‘disgraceful report by a disgraceful panel’, saying it reported allegations instead of investigating the allegations. Yet another wondered how a Judicial Panel could use the words ‘massacre in context’ and equate such to a massacre. All these and many more have raised valid questions on that report. We salute their courage and refusal to be cowed by the rampaging lynch mob that has been screaming blue murder since the report was released,” Mr Mohammed said.
Mr Mohammed said the report has no "iota of genuineness" until the covering authority "issues a White Paper and Gazette on it"
“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. 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,” he said.
“We are saddened that anyone died at all during the Endsars protest as the life of every Nigerian and indeed every human is sacrosanct. As we have disclosed many times, 57 civilians, 37 policemen, and six soldiers were killed across the country during the protest, and we commiserate with their families.”
Nigerians are still divided over the incident that witnessed the broad day massacre of innocent protesters in Lagos State as the Nigerian government continues to live in denial and foolery.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.