Aliyu said the police and the army had failed to protect the judicial officers
A Nigerian judicial panel investigating the death of seven lawyers by the police in a Lekki tollgate shooting last month has condemned the incident as a “massacre”.
The panel led by Justice Aliyu Kafarati said the police and the army had failed to protect the judicial officers who died in the shooting on 3 August.
The state’s governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, set up the panel last week after the lawyers’ lawyers lodged a petition to him.
“The Joint Task Force must be investigated,” Aliyu Kafarati, chairman of the commission, said.
“It was a massacre. The statement by the police that seven officers were killed is far from the truth.”
Aliyu Kafarati also said the military had failed to protect the lawyers.
“They were not protected,” he said. “The Police acted as if it is the Fourth Estate of the Realm (the press) to protect the members of the public.
“This has not been done for many years. This has to stop.”
Aliyu said that the fact that all of the bodies in the lawyers’ vehicles were those of the lawyers “was what set people’s tongues wagging”.
Eight lawyers, including two judges, died in the shooting.
The lawyers were returning from court in the popular Lekki district of the state on 3 August when an “informal meeting” of the group ended up in a gunfight with members of the police special anti-robbery squad (SARS).
Residents reported hearing gunfire for more than half an hour.
The alleged militants, who were wearing military fatigues, also sprayed bullets at three cars at a petrol station on the route, killing a customer, according to the Lagos state police command.