Three #EndSARS protesters on Friday appeared before the Lagos Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing the October 20 shooting by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.
The protesters – Victoria Oniru, Dabira Ayuku and Perpetual Kamsiyuchukwu – through their lawyer, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana – demanded to be granted audience.
Adesina told the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel that he would like to cross-examine Abayomi Omowuwa, the Managing Director of Lekki Concession Company, operator of the Lekki toll gate.
Though counsel for the Lagos State Government, Mr.Jelili Owonikoko (SAN) and LCC lawyer, Mr.Rotimi Seriki earlier opposed Ogunlana’s appearance on the basis that “#EndSARS is not an entity known to the law,” they later withdrew their objection when Ogunlana called out his three clients.
“I am not representing spirits or ghosts. We’re here, to tell the truth. These are part of the people running underground, being threatened,” Ogunlana said in response to the objection by Owonikoko and Seriki.
Owonikoko had described #EndSARS as a nebulous entity with no structure or leader, questioning where Ogunlana got his instruction to appear before the panel.
Seriki, on his part, said since the LCC Managing Director was before the panel on subpoena, “he cannot be cross-examined by every Tom, Dick, and Harry.”
Following the withdrawal of the objection to Ogunlana’s appearing, Justice Okuwobi, in a ruling, admitted the protesters as a party and allowed their lawyer’s appearance.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Judicial Panel has begun viewing the CCTV footage submitted by LCC.
The Managing Director of LCC, Omomuwa, had submitted the video footage on Tuesday.
The video has no sound and Omowuwa had told the panel that the surveillance camera stopped working at 8pm on October 20 when the incident happened.
According to the LCC MD, the footage was retrieved from the surveillance camera mounted by the firm on a mast at the tollgate.
Counsel for the Lagos State Government, Owonikoko, had suggested that the panel only view some portion of the footage to save time, but counsel for #EndSARS protesters, Adesina Ogunlana, insisted that the entire footage be viewed on the grounds that “we should not sacrifice quality for speed.”
But the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel ruled that the entire footage would be viewed.
The footage, which is currently being viewed, shows peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
It also shows that the lights at the toll gate were on. It did not show the arrival of soldiers at the toll gate.