BRITAIN’s high commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing has urged the judicial panel probing the Lekki Toll Gate shooting to study all the incidents captured in the available recording of what happened on October 20.
Following a month-long nationwide protest against the brutality of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (Sars) police unit, the government came under intense criticism. After being forced to scrap Sars, the government decided to end the protests forcefully, sending soldiers to shoot innocent protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, leading to international condemnation and sparking nationwide riots.
On the evening of October 20, the authorities removed some of the CCTV cameras at the toll gate before soldiers were deployed there to open fire on protesters. However, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), which operates the toll gate, said some of its cameras were still working and it has submitted the footage from the incident to the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State government to investigate the killings.
Abayomi Omomuwa, the LCC managing director, said the surveillance cameras at the toll plaza stopped working at 8pm on the said night. However, soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters from about 6.45pm, meaning that the incident would have been captured.
Ms Laing said: It is important the Lagos Sars panel accesses CCTV footage to help explain what happened on 20/10 at Lekki. I welcome the appearance LCC at the panel in Lagos and ongoing work to ensure accountability for crimes committed.”
Several petitions have been sent to human rights bodies worldwide, with the International Criminal Court (ICC) being put under pressure to act on the matter. Yesterday, the ICC confirmed that it is conducting a preliminary examination into the whole #EndSARS protests and the allegations of human rights abuses associated with them.