EndSARS: Reopening Lekki tollgate insensitive to memories of those who died -Panel member

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Sodiq Oyeleke

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the representative of civil society on the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate, has faulted the reopening of the tollgate.

He explained that reopening the Lekki tollgate is insensitive to those who died.

The PUNCH had reported that soldiers opened live ammunition on some #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020, leaving many injured and dead.

The lawyer made his position known while giving his dissenting opinion on an application by Lekki Concession Company to take over toll plazas one and two for insurance claims and to maintain security threat.

The PUNCH reports that four out of the nine members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate faulted the report of the forensic experts hired to comb the scene for evidence.

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The four members who faulted the forensic report also rejected the application by the Lekki Concession Company, operator of the Lekki tollgate, to take possession of the facility, which had been shut down since the probe of the shootings started.

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The four members who rejected the forensic report are the two representatives of the civil society – Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) and Ms. Patience Udoh; as well as the two youth representatives on the panel – Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi.

But the chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, and four other members of the panel acceded to LCC’s request to repossess the tollgate.

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The chairman was backed by Segun Awosanya (popularly known as Segalink), Oluwatoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens Rights), DIG Taiwo Lakanu (retd.) (representing the police) and Lucas Koyejo (from the National Human Rights Commission).

Adegboruwa said, “Investigation by the Panel over the Lekki Toll Gate Incident is still ongoing. It will therefore be premature to hand over the Toll Plaza that is still subject of Panel’s investigation and proceedings, to LCC.

“The Panel is yet to come to any finding in respect of the Lekki Toll Gate Incident of 20th October, 2020. A takeover of the Toll Plazas by LCC will be prejudicial to the ultimate findings of the Panel.

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“It will overreach whatever decisions the Panel may reach and foist a situation of complete helplessness and a fait accompli, on members of the Panel, in respect of any recommendation that it may make, on the general operations of the Toll Plazas.

“The Panel is yet to ascertain the claims and counter-claims of fatalities and massacre of citizens on 20th October, 2020. If indeed such is established eventually, taking over the Toll Plaza at this time, upon the blood of the innoncent citizens, will be insensitive, callous and totally uncharitable to the memories of those who may have died.”

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