Lagos – A judicial panel probing a bloody crackdown on protesters against police brutality last year in Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos submitted its findings on Monday, the state government told AFP.
The protest movement that rocked Africa’s most populous country for weeks came to a halt after October 20 last year, when security forces fired on protesters, killing at least 10, according to Amnesty International.
An independent panel was set up by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to investigate the crackdown and wider police brutality claims.
The Nigerian army denied shooting live rounds at protesters, telling the judicial panel that only blanks were used.
The crowd gathered at a tollgate in the city’s Lekki district that day was defying a curfew, the army added.
The protest movement, named after the social media hashtag #EndSARS, started as a campaign to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), notorious for extortion, torture and extrajudicial killings.
But the protests grew into a wider contestation against bad governance.
The governor’s office did not reveal the contents of the report, but justice Doris Okuwobi, who headed the panel, said that it considered 186 petitions out of the 252 it received.
Governor Sanwo-Olu vowed a “proper response” to the panel’s recommendations, adding that a “white paper” would be published within the next two weeks.
“This process will help us start the very difficult process of proper reconciliation, restitution, bringing together of anyone… affected,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Last month, activists and protesting youths held memorial protests in Lagos and in the capital Abuja under heavy police watch.
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