Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, has stated that the leaked Lagos State Government memo on the secret mass burial of 103 victims of the October 2020 #EndSARS is only one of the surprises to come.
Adegboruwa, who was a member of the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters, stated this on a Channels Television’s programme.
“The leaked memo from the Ministry of Health of Lagos State is one of the many surprises that people will still see in the course of time so long as the government has not come to terms with the reality of the events of October 20th, 2020,” the senior lawyer said.
Adegboruwa said there was nobody in Nigeria who would say he or she was not aware that there were fatalities on the night of October 20, 2020 when soldiers stormed the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, a focal centre where youths converged on to protest police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
“May be the challenge would be the quantum or the number of such fatalities,” the human rights lawyer said. “But to blanketly assert that there was no death or there was no blood spilled in any way at all as a result in particular of gunshots by members of the Nigerian Army is to do a disservice to the souls of those people who are affected.”
Last week, about three years after the controversial incident that attracted global outrage and rebuke by human rights groups including Amnesty International, a leaked memo addressed to the Lagos State Ministry of Health indicating that the state government approved N61,285,000 for the mass burial of 103 persons identified as 2020 EndSARS victims sparked outrage.
The memo dated July 19, 2023, captured steps for the processing of funds after approval by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The Lagos State Ministry of Health subsequently confirmed the letter in a statement last Sunday but insisted that the bodies were not from the Lekki toll gate but were picked by the Lagos State Environmental Health Unit (SEHMU) from areas such as Fagba, Ketu, Ikorodu, Orile, Ajegunle, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Ojota, Ekoro, Ogba, Isolo and Ajah.