The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for the arrest and prosecution of Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, over his comments on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on the Lekki Tollgate killing of protesting Nigerian youths on October 20, 2020.
It was reported how Mohammed, at a press briefing, rubbished the yet to be released report, calling it “recycled fake news” “and tales by moonlight.”
Mohammed also insisted that no one was killed at the Tollgate, challenging Nigerians to produce the dead bodies of the victims and that parents and relatives should come out to declare that they lost their loved ones.
Mohammed also derided the panel by saying it only wasted their sitting allowances, stressing that more investigations are needed to uncover the controversy behind the shooting allegation.
He added that until a well-investigative panel is set up and comes out with its findings, the Federal Government would not change its stand.
But in reacting to Mohammed’s comments at the press briefing, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said that the Minister should be arrested and charged for his insensitive statements.
Posting on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Onwubiko said:
“If actually the panel said there was a massacre, and the minister said there was no massacre, I think something is wrong somewhere and I think that minister, as we said initially, needs to be arrested.
“So he now has enough courage to speak on the report that has not even been published. The report that every Nigerian is seeing now was leaked by some of their members so for now, there is no official disclosure of what the Lagos state panel recommended.
“The panel sat and spent one whole year and compiled the reports only for one minister out of over 40 ministers to say that the government does not recognize the panel reports.
“It shows that there’s anarchy in government, there’s incoherence that Nigeria does not have a government and this shows that we are in a very big mess. So Nigerians are in a very big trouble, if you have a minister who would come out and say what the panel said was not true.
“He is not being paid by Buhari. He doesn’t have one kobo to pay him. The money we are paying ministers who are serving Nigerians is the money that tax payers are paying, so for a minister who collects salary from Nigerians to say that there was no massacre, it shows that minister needs to be arrested and prosecuted, but it’s quite unfortunate.”