Mr. Rotimi Seriki, the counsel to the Lekki Consession Company (LCC), the company in charge of the Lekki Toll plaza, has prayed the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry to give LCC access to the plaza.
Mr Seriki, who made the application on Tuesday at the panel sitting, said the company should be permitted to have access to the toll plazas for the purpose of insurance companies evaluating the site and carrying out repair.
The Lekki Toll plaza where the October 20, 2020, shooting incident occurred, had been closed for business but open to vehicular movement.
The opening of the plaza ,which was under investigation, had been resisted by the panel upon several applications by Mr Seriki.
Dorris Okuwobi, a retired Judge heading the panel, gave permission to all parties who had a matter in the Lekki Shooting incident to carry out investigation of the site as they dim fit.
On December 11, the last adjourned date, the panel turned down the prayer of Mr Seriki for its reopening.
Mrs Okuwobi gave additional two weeks for interested parties to investigate and do forensic analysis of the scene.
Reapplying for the opening of the toll plaza for insurance claims and repair, Mr Seriki told the panel that a lot of damage was done to the plaza, the latest being an attempted looting and vandalising of the plaza on December 14.
“On the 11th of December when we last appeared before the panel, I made application on behalf of LCC, but the panel obliged to the #EndSARS protesters’ counsel to carry out investigation of the Lekki Toll gate, and gave them two weeks.
Mr Seriki said since the timeline of two weeks had elapsed, he was reapplying for the opening of the plaza for repair and insurance claims.
“My application is made more imperative by developments after the last sitting. Specifically on 14th of December, which was three days after the last sitting, more individuals were arrested at the toll plaza in the process of stealing and vandalizing cables, iron rods and solar batteries utilized by the advertising board. The individuals have been charged to court, ” Mr Seriki
Mr Seriki told the panel that he possesses a police report and photographs of the vandalisation and looting which he sought to tender as exhibit before the panel.
Adeshina Ogunlana, the counsel to #EndSARS protesters, raised an objection to the admission of the police report as exhibit by the panel, saying there should be a ‘connect.’
“The letter of the Nigerian Police was to Promomedia Limited, not be any way the LCC that Mr Seriki represents.
“I would have wished that this document, since it is just in aid of an application for their company to have access, it can either be tendered by the police or the media people, advertising body and not the LCC,” Mr Ogunlana said.
He added that there is no nexus between the police report tendered before the. panel and the LCC.
Reacting to the objection raised, Mr Seriki said the documents were not being tendered for the purpose of the investigation of the panel but tendered for the purpose of the application which has been made on not less than three previous occasions.
He added that the advertising company is being managed by the LCC because the LCC owns the Lekki Toll plaza and there is a connect between the two.
Olukayode Enitan, the counsel to the Lagos state government, said the LCC is fully owned by the state government and it is important to ensure that the infrastructure is not further degraded.
Mr Enitan said there was a present damage that th LCC wishes to access and the Panel should not close its eyes to the further damage of infrastructure.
After much arguments from the counsels on the relevance of the document to the matter, Cyril Ejiafor, the counsel to the police, said “nobody can just present a police document.”
“This is not about evidence act, nobody can just come that this is a security document and is presenting it on behalf of the police, no, no, no, no.
“There is no nexus between the Nigerian police and the LCC in terms of security matters. You made a complaint, if you say you need a report, we will give you. But for you to come on behalf of the police to present this document is really not it,” Mr Ejiafor said.
Mrs Okuwobi, the chairperson of the panel,stood down the matter to allow the police counsel verify the document sought to be tendered by the counsel to the LCC.
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