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#EndSARS Protests: Ministers Recommend Probe Of Military Involvement In Lekki Tollgate Shootings

As the one-week deadline given to ministers to interface with their State governors, stakeholders and the protesting youths expired on Wednesday, Ministers from the South West have called for a thorough investigation of the involvement of the military in the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate.

The Ministers, who submitted their report to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, also recommended that the Federal Government should support the Lagos State Government in replacing damaged facilities in the state.

They also urged Federal Government to consider short and medium-term support to small and medium businesses that were affected by the looting and arson that took place in Lagos and other parts of the country through the Central Bank Intervention Mechanism under the COVID-19 funding.

Recall that President Buhari had at the Council meeting on October 21, gave directives to ministers to visit their various states and interface with their governors and stakeholders at the wake of the protest by youths against police brutality, especially, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force.

The nationwide protests which started peacefully, later turned destructive as hoodlums hijacked the exercise, looted and destroyed both public and private properties.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that Ministers of the South West extraction recommended that the Federal Government should seek and support the process of justice for all by ensuring that any of those apprehended and identified to be involved in the perpetration of the Lekki carnage be speedily be brought to justice and fairly tried.

He said, “The highlight of the brief was to make recommendations to the Federal Government to support Lagos State to restore damaged facilities especially those related to the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice such as police, court buildings and forensic laboratory.

“To also consider supporting the Lagos High Court Judges either with the provision of some office accommodation as a temporary relocation when that requested is made, of course, it was hinted during the visit.

“To also urged the federal government to consider short to medium term support to small and medium businesses who were affected by the looting and arson which took place in Lagos and other parts of the country, to see if something can be done through the Central Bank Intervention Mechanism under the COVID-19 funding or any other related funding mechanism.

And to also ensure that whatever is approved should also involve the National Economic Council, the platform on which state governors meet, so that other states across the country who were also affected, businesses were damaged can benefit in addition to Lagos residence who may so be supported.

“We also urged federal government should undertake a thorough investigation into what happened in the Lekki Toll Plaza, particularly the role of the military and ensure that the outcome is made public with a view to achieving closure on the matter.

“We recommended that the Federal Government re-mobilize critical organs and agencies such as National Orientation Agency and formal educational institutions to focus on ethical re-orientation, inculcation of family values into the school curriculum.

“We recommended a focus on etiquette, local reasoning, critical thinking, solution-seeking, empathy, self-respect, civic duty and human rights.

“We also recommended the Federal Government to actively seek and support the process of justice for all by ensuring that any of those apprehended and identified to be involved in the perpetration of this carnage be speedily be brought to justice and fairly tried.

“We also urged the Federal Government to implement the maintenance of facility management policy approved by FEC in 2019 for Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies and to encourage states to do the same.

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