Credible fact-checking websites have debunked reports of alleged LekkiMassacre committed by Nigerian soldiers against peaceful and unarmed #EndSars protesters at Lekki Toll Gate axis in Lagos last Tuesday.
While some fact-checkers have exposed trending photos and videos on the alleged massacre as being doctored, the Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption recommends serious evidence-based anti-corruption reforms to respond to the concerns and grievances of #EndSARS campaigners nationwide.
The PRNigeria’s Investigation has revealed that days after alleged LekkiMassacre, neither a single bullet-ridden body has been sighted nor any family of victims has reported the death of their relations during the incident.
Many of the people reported to have been killed in the Lekki Protest have since come out to debunk such reports. A photo of a young corps member shot in the stomach which went viral on social media claiming that he died as a result of the shoot has been debunked by the young man himself who said that the picture was taken on a movie set earlier in the year.
Additionally, a certain Steve Abbey who was said to have died at the Lekki protest ground has put out a post on his Twitter page to debunk the rumour.
A Nollywood movie star Eniola Badmus, who was allegedly shot in the stomach and died at the Lekki Toll Gate has denied the social media reports. Posting on her Instagram, Eniola wrote: “Against all speculations about me being shot or dead at the unspeakable incident that happened at the toll gate, I Eniola Badmus is hale and hearty.”
Meanwhile, the latest fact-checker on the incident dubbed “Lagos black Tuesday,” says that while it is still investigating claims of numerous fatalities, there is no information from hospitals or morgues that can confirm fatalities linked to the incident. It revealed that it was not true that over 70 persons were killed at the location because after a considerably detailed search of hospitals and mortuaries in the State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed that only one life was confirmed lost in connection to the Lekki Incident. According to staff Reddington Hospital Lekki, the death of the unnamed individual was caused by blunt force trauma.
Although another body with a gunshot wound was deposited in a Mortuary in Yaba, an investigation was still ongoing to see if this occurred at the Lekki Toll Incident.
The fact-checker stated that there is overwhelming evidence to confirm the presence of soldiers at the scene. It said: “Camera phone footage from protesters and people close to the site show the shooter dressed as the Nigerian Army, carrying standard Nigerian army weapons, and riding in Nigerian Army Vehicles..”
It further stated that allegations that CCTV cameras where removed hours before Lekki Toll gate Shooting were not actually CCTV Camera’s but laser plate number scanners for vehicles that picks the tag on cars and number plates as confirmed by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed during his interview on Arise TV.
The LCC Management also put out a statement clarifying that the devices were removed because they were sensitive equipment, and the toll plaza would be unmanned during to the curfew imposed on the state as a result of the uprisings.
Meanwhile, Head Nigeria’s Office of the Transparency International (TI), Mr. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, has recommended serious evidence-based anti-corruption reforms to respond to the concerns and grievances of #EndSARS campaigners nationwide.
He nevertheless observed that the shooting of peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate Tuesday night “is becoming too controversial now. Apparently, we have been telling this government to be proactive in its reforms. But the government is not listening to anybody.”
He lamented that the governments “allowed this unfortunate situation to happen. The initial protest was focused on governance and security sector reforms. Along the process, they allowed other people to come in. They started burning and destroying both private and public assets.
“Up till now, we have not seen anybody that says my brother, my daughter or my son was killed. That is why the incident has become controversial. It is difficult to make an assertion until proper investigation. Without proper investigation, it will be difficult to make any pronouncement.”