Despite denying any killing on multiple occasions, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has allegedly approved the mass burial of at least 103 protesters who were ‘massacred’ by joint forces of the Nigerian Army and the police during the October 20, 2020 protest against police brutality tagged #EndSARS at the Lekki toll gate.
According to a letter reportedly seen by Peoples Gazette and dated July 19 by the public procurement agency, the state government engaged the service of Messrs Tos Funeral Ltd, a private firm.
The publication stated that the state government engaged the firm at the cost of N61,285,000 to bury 103 bodies which were identified to be victims of the killings.
The letter allegedly read: “Following review of your request and based on the information provided therein, the agency has “No Objection” to the award of contract to MESSRS TOS FUNERALS LIMITED at a total cost of N61,285,000 (Sixty-one million, two hundred and eighty-five thousand Naira only) for the mass burial for the 103, the year 2020 Endsars victims.”
Speaking to Peoples Gazette on the report, Chief press secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile said: “the government will release its response soon.”
Recall that Sanwo-Olu and governorment officials, including the former Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, had denied the killing of unarmed protesters who were waving the Nigerian flag and chanting the national anthem when the military opened fire on them at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
Sanwo-Olu had also issued a white paper to affirm his denial of the findings of the Lagos State’s judicial panel of inquiry, which described the incident as a massacre. The judicial panel had ruled that nothing could justify the war-grade violence unleashed on peaceful protesters, which led to the death of scores during the incident.