Okwe Obi, Abuja
Operators of the Lekki toll plaza, Lekki Concession Company (LCC), stunned the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) related Abuses and other Matters, yesterday, with claim that the surveillance cameras stopped working at 8pm on Tuesday, October 20, the day soldiers allegedly opened fire on #EndSARS protesters.
Its Managing Director, Abayomi Omomuwasi, who testified at the panel set up by the state government to probe the shootings as well as complaints of human rights abuses against members of the disbanded SARS confirmed that cameras that were removed before the shooting were plate number recognition cameras “early in the day.”
He said the other surveillance camera, a pan–tilt–zoom camera (PTZ camera) also exists and was still intact. He said LCC have three surveillance cameras at the Lekki toll gate, one at Ikoyi and another at Chevron. The cameras are linked via network, controlled from Chevron.
He said they did not activate audio recording, as the cameras were used for traffic not security.
“We never, ever tempered with the surveillance camera until about 8 pm when it was tampered with and stopped recording, the network was interfered with which stopped the recording. The cameras that were removed at the Lekki toll gate were plate numbers recognition cameras, they identify the vehicle, and vehicle type.
“We usually put the light on at about 7:30 pm, our people left the location at 4pm, everyone was asked to go after the curfew was declared. We obtained permission and asked all staff to go, including those in charge of the generator.”
On the suspected bullet casing found during the panel’s visit last Friday, he said they still did not know what it was. He said none of the Lekki Concession staff physically witnessed the shooting.
“We can only rely on the footage. I have no reason to invite armed security to the protest between 8-20, October when the protest started.”
Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd), ordered that the tollgate plaza remain closed as she said the panel might have a need to pay another visit after watching the video footage.
Meanwhile, self-acclaimed promoters of #EndSARS protest have lambasted the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, for allegedly attempting to hijack the movement to champion his selfish agenda.
Over 128 civil society organisations, had earlier disowned him for trying to usurp the agitation to destabilise their demands.
But, a group know as Genuine #EndSARS protesters said the protest Sowore staged on November 1 at the Force Headquarters and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, signified his selfish agenda to revive the now-rested agitation to foment trouble even when the government had promised to meet the demands.