The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS-related abuses and the Lekki Toll Gate shootings of October 20, on Tuesday said forensic experts have been hired to comb the facility.
Judge emeritus Doris Okuwobi stated that the analysts paid for by the Lagos State Government, will examine the scene for 21 days.
The forensic analysts will, among others, search for evidence of live bullets or shells at the toll gate and adjourning roads.
The analysis will also be expected to search for evidence of blood from gunshot wounds.
The government, Okuwobi explained, paid a “huge amount” for their services.
She said: The forensic analysis will clear a lot of issues in the incident of October 20, 2020.
“The desire is that the panel will unearth the truth of what happened. The application by the LCC for permission to have access to the toll gate must, therefore, await the outcome of the forensic examination.”
The judge emeritus said the experts would have commenced work but for the inaccessibility to a building where the equipment needed by them were kept. She disclosed that the analysts gained access to the building yesterday.
The disclosure followed an application by the operators of the Lekki Toll Gate – Lekki Concession Company (LCC), seeking to regain access to the facility.
A counsel for the first set of the #EndSARS protesters, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, had told the panel that its enquiries suggested that it would cost no less than N25million for a forensic analysis of the toll gate.
Ogunlana’s clients submitted petitions to the panel alleging that men of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army shot at and killed several #EndSARS protesters at the toll gate last October 20, a claim the Army denied.
The protesters had on two occasions’ secured adjournments for the purpose of hiring forensic experts to prove their claim that the army fired live bullets at the scene.
The lawyer prayed that the toll gate, which has been in the panel’s custody since it began full sitting last October 27, be not released to the LCC, pending the forensic analysis.
Granting his prayer, Justice Okuwobi – for the third time since the panel began sitting – declined LCC’s request to retake possession of the facility.
The proceedings were the panel’s 23rd sitting and its first upon resumption from the yuletide break.
The panel adjourned till January 29 for a report on the outcome of the analysis.
As part of a related proceedings, Reddington Hospital, Lekki submitted medical reports of 30 persons who accessed its services during the #EndSARS protests at the Lekki Toll Gate.
The hospital’s attendance at the panel followed a summons issued by the panel upon Ogunlana’s application.
Ogunlana’s request was based on the premise that the hospital, among several others in Lagos, “played certain roles to qualify as being part of those who can give relevant and useful information to the Panel for use to it purpose as regards the ‘Lekki shootong”’
The tribunal adjourned till January 30 for examination of the hospital’s witnesses.