Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters sitting on Friday in Lagos, kicked against false and misleading reportage of the panel proceedings of Saturday 5th June 2021 as published in some newspapers, online medium and aired on television and radio.
Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN) counsel to Lagos State government had after the panel rose, drew the panel attention to the misleading and misrepresentation of the panel proceedings of Saturday 5th of June, 2021 by some media stations and online publications which he described as embarrassing and scandalous. He enjoined the panel to caution the media not to resort to sensationalism but to report accurately the panel proceedings.
Echoing Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN) position, the panel Chairman Justice Doris Okuwobi (Rtd.), said the reportage of the panel proceedings of that day which she read and even online, was a great injustice to what transpired and is a misrepresentation of the truth.
The panel expressed it’s disappointment and anger over the misrepresentation of what actually transpired at the panel sitting when forensic pathologist and former Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) Prof John Oladapo Obafunwa gave his testimony of the autopsy conducted on 99 corpses at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) between the 20th – 24th of October 2020 as directed by the chief Coroner of Lagos State in which he clearly stated that only 3 of the corpses were labelled as EndSARS Lekki with no names having been recovered by LASAMBUS from the Lekki area of Lagos and that when autopsy was conducted on them among others, no bullets or pellets were found on any of the 3 corpses.
The panel said some of the reportage of Saturday 5th June 2021 proceedings with misleading headlines like “We conducted autopsy on 99 Lekki EndSARS protesters corpses” was false and a misrepresentation of what actually transpired. The panel expressed disappointment that due to the time frame and the workload before the it, it would not be able to respond appropriately to the misleading reportage of the panel proceedings.
The panel stated that the misleading reportage of the panel proceedings was s great disservice it’s assignment and urged the media to be objective and report proceedings accurately without bias and ill motive.
The panel Chairman justice Doris Okuwobi (Rtd.) drew the attention of one of the EndSARS protesters movement counsel Mrs. Morakinyo Fawehinmi and enjoined her to bring to the notice of her lead counsel Olumide Fusika (SAN), the embarrassing conduct of Miss Sarah Ibrahim even while still testifying has been granting press interviews and misrepresenting what transpired at the panel on that day with various misleading headlines.
The panel was particularly angry that the EndSARS protesters witness Miss Sarah Ibrahim, while still giving testimony has gone ahead to grant press interviews which is inappropriate and over reaching because the panel is still sitting and her conduct amounts to a contempt of the panel proceedings.
The panel enjoined the media to report accurately on the panel proceedings and not bring the work of the panel to ridicule in the eyes of the Nigerian public and the world at large with misleading reportage and sensationalism of lies.