40 discrepancies found in EndSARS panel report, Lagos Counsel discloses

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Counsel for the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko, has asserted that there are at least 40 discrepancies in the report submitted by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.

Owonikoko, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who served as counsel to the Lagos State Government during the year-long sitting of the EndSARS judicial panel stated this during an interview with Arise TV on Thursday.

However, Owonikoko found fault with some of the findings in the report, stressing that important details were omitted by the panel.

“By law, the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the panel were not supposed to be made public. The report making rounds on social media is a draft of a minority opinion because I was there all through the proceedings.

“I am particularly shocked to read what is contained in the report because it is not completely accurate. I sighted over 40 discrepancies in this report, including awarding N15 million to someone who was a witness to a police brutality incident that had nothing to do with the Lekki incident. What kind of report is that?

“All the evidence we were able to gather during the proceedings, none of them could be fully established.

“The mistake made by the government was not setting up an entirely different panel to look into the Lekki incident because there are some members of the panel that are protagonists in the case against the Police. They were not supposed to be a part of it,” he explained.

It should be recalled that the panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into complaints of citizens against human rights abuses by the police. But following the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, the Terms of Reference of the panel were expanded to cover that incident.