The Federal Government of Nigeria has described the report by the Lagos State judicial panel on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate as a ‘triumph of fake news’.
Africa Daily News, New York had last week reported that the panel which was inaugurated to look into complaints of alleged human rights abuses by the police and Lekki toll gate shooting indicted the Nigerian Army in its report.
However, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a press conference in Abuja yesterday, dismissed the report saying it cannot change the government’s mind that there was a massacre, adding that the report is intimidation of a silent majority by a ‘vociferous lynch mob’.
The minister described the report by the Lagos judicial panel as ‘Tales by moonlight’ riddled with so many errors, inconsistencies, discrepancies, speculations, innuendos, omissions, and conclusions that are not supported by evidence
Part of the statement which was obtained by Africa Daily News, New York read: ‘There’s absolutely nothing in the report that is circulating to make us change our minds that there was a massacre in Lekki on October 20, 2020.
‘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, innuendos, 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.
‘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.’
Lai Mohammed noted that the report of the panel in circulation cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt, adding that the Lagos State Government, being the convening authority, is yet to release any official report to the public.
‘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 invalidated report,‘ he submitted.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK