The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the October 2020 shooting incident at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza has approved the repossession of the plaza by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the operators.
The panel authorised the repossession of the toll gate in a ruling on Saturday, but that was after a ruckus by members of the nine-man panel.
The LCC had been barred by the panel from resuming operations at the toll gate by the plaza after soldiers of the Nigerian Army reportedly opened fire on the #EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020. According to the panel, the plaza is a key centrepiece of evidence it is examining.
But Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd), Chairperson of the Lagos judicial panel, on Saturday granted permission to the LCC to take over operations of the toll gate.
Her ruling was backed by four other members of the panel: Segun Awosanya (Popularly known as Segalink), Oluwatoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens right), DIG Taiwo Lakanu ( representing the police) and Lucas Koyejo (from the National Human Rights Commission).
Following the delivery of the ruling, the panel’s room turned to a shouting arena as four other members, who were absent during Justice Okuwobi’s judgement, walked in and proceeded to deliver their dissenting ruling.
The dissenters are: Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, representing the Civil Society, Ms. Patience Udoh representing the Civil Society, Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi, representing #EndSARS protesters.
Their intention to read their dissenting ruling was interrupted by LCC lawyer, Rotimi Seriki; and Lagos State Counsel, Enitan Thomas, after which a shouting match ensued.
The LCC had earlier prayed the panel to allow it to take over the plaza for repair and insurance claims since December 2020.
However, Justice Okuwobi had on 5 January while ruling on an application by Rotimi Seriki, the lawyer representing the LCC, said a forensic examination must be conducted at the plaza before normal operations can begin.