The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has insisted that there were only two confirmed deaths during the shooting incident that happened a week ago at the Lekki Tollgate.
He also said that there were no bloodstains at the scene of the incident.
According to a report on Vanguard, the Lagos State Governor made the disclosure during an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson about the incident and the fall out of the #EndSARS protests over police brutality and extra-judicial killing.
The Governor’s statement is against the backdrop of several reports in the public space, which had claimed that over 30 protesters and in some cases about 70 protesters allegedly died as a result of the shooting by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate.
The Governor said, “Two dead bodies, that is what we have seen from all the morgues, that’s what we have seen going to hospitals, that’s what we have seen as a record. What has happened is that there have been so many footages that were seen, that people have shown, but we have not seen bodies, we have not seen relatives, we have not seen anybody truly coming out to say I am a father or a mother to someone and I cannot find that person. Nobody has turned up. I have been to the ground, there is no scratch of blood anywhere there.
“From the footage that we could see, because there were cameras at that facility, it seems to me that they would be men in military uniform. That’s what the footage shows.”
While insisting that there was no form of international pressure as a result of the protests, Sanwo-Olu said, “I genuinely believe there would be change. For two reasons; what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. It was also a clarion call for all of us in government to understand and realize what the youths want us to be doing. It hit all of us like a thunderbolt and it was just a wake-up call.”
In order to aid the investigation to ascertain what happened at the Lekki Tollgate, Sanwo-Olu assured that the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages will be made available to the judicial panel already set up to investigate the incident and has already started sitting on Monday.
While responding to a question, Sanwo-Olu said he was ‘absolutely’ committed to a full investigation of the incident.
He said, “It’s beyond my control to mete out punishment to those found culpable; however, those responsible will be held accountable. I am not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The report will be out, we will channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the State to ensure everyone that is found culpable is accountable for the act.”
Despite the Lagos State Governor’s insistence on the number of fatalities, a lot of Nigerians do not believe his account of the incident and think that there is some form of an alleged cover-up by government officials. They are still outraged that despite some video evidence and accounts of people that were there, the government is still understating the fatality figures.