CLAIM: At a rally supporting Bola Tinubu and Jide Sanwo-Olu’s bids for the presidency and governorship in Lagos, the Chair of the state’s Parks and Garages Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya claimed that no one was killed on October 20th at Lekki Tollgate during the #EndSARS protests.
CONTEXT: Addressing a large crowd during the protests, Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, claimed that there were no protesters killed during the protests at the Lekki Tollgate. He further attributed the allegations to campaigns by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who are contesting for the presidency alongside Tinubu. He stated:
“Where are the bodies and where are they buried? Do they have relatives in Nigeria? Has Nigeria bribed the mothers of the deceased protesters? Why are their siblings not searching for them, even on social media? Or is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu a Chief of Army Staff or President who will order the killing of protesters at the Lekki tollgate?
“They’re lying to us, they want to undermine the Yorubas, everyone should come out. It is a political game. It was Atiku and Obi that conspired to do all those things then.”
VERIFICATION: Our partners at Daily Trust have been able to determine evidence that discredits the claim by MC Oluomo.
Firstly, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to probe the shooting at the tollgate determined that at least 11 persons were killed during the peaceful demonstration at the Lekki Tollgate and another four missing and presumed dead.
Secondly, in an interview with Cable News Network (CNN), Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed that two protesters died. He is quoted as having said that
“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….”
There are many reports, from protesters who took videos and photos, describing the shootings as a massacre. CNN also released an investigative report that showed a timeline of activities leading to the shootings at the tollgate.
There is clearly no indisputable evidence – the Federal Government insists that no shootings took place – but there are areas of accepted culpability by the state and independent reports that show that there were shootings and fatalities as a result of incidents at the Lekki Tollgate.
CONCLUSION: Protesters were killed at the Lekki Tollgate as a result of the #EndSARS protests, which counters the claims made by MC Oluomo.