The Lekki Concession Company (LCC), has submitted to the Lagos Judicial Panel on Police brutality, the video footage recorded by the company’s surveillance camera on the night of October 20, when soldiers opened fire on unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate area in Lagos.
The video footage was submitted on Tuesday by the Managing Director of LCC, Abayomi Omomuwansa, at the 4th sitting of the panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos state government to look into the allegations of police brutality and highhandedness by personnel of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The panel was also mandated to look at the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday evening, October 20, 2020.
While making the submission, Omomuwasan, however, noted that the surveillance camera stopped recording at about 8:00 pm on the night of the shooting at Lekki Tollgate.
He said, ‘’I can confirm that inside here is the video footage that our surveillance camera was able to record for the 20th of October.’’
While disclosing that the surveillance cameras are called PTZ; wherein P enables the camera pan; T enables the camera tilt, and Z allows the camera to zoom, Omomuwasan said they were mounted on a mast at the tollgate.
Omomuwansa said the cameras were initially not tampered with until around 8 pm when they stopped recording due mostly to network issues. The shooting incident was said to have started around 7 pm.
The LCC had also pointed out that the power outage on the night of the shooting was because its staff were withdrawn from office locations after the announcement of the curfew by the Lagos State Government, so they could not switch on backup generators when power was interrupted.
About 2 weeks after the shooting incident at the Lekki Tollgate, investigations are still ongoing to determine what really happened at the scene of the peaceful protests and who was responsible for the shootings.
The Nigerian Army, who had initially said they were not at the Lekki Tollgate on the night of the incident, later insisted that soldiers did not shoot at the protesters after later admitting they were at the scene on the invitation of the state governor. Their denial is despite viral videos showing men in military uniform firing the shots.
Although they admitted that soldiers were deployed to ‘restore normalcy’ in the area, the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division, Army Public Relations, Osoba Olaniyi in a statement last Tuesday, described reports of a massacre by the officers as “untrue, unfounded, and aimed at causing anarchy in the country”.
The reports had further been complicated by reports that the surveillance cameras at the tollgate had been removed hours before the shooting of October 20.