The operators of the tollgate, Lekki Concession Company, have been denied the the right to “take back possession” of the tollgate.
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry examining the alleged shootings of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers on October 20, 2020 at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos has turned down the request by the company.
The Chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, who ruled on the company’s prayer on Tuesday, said the tollgate plaza would remain closed.
In turning down the request, Justice Okuwobi said the panel could still have reason to revisit the site of the shooting.
Counsel for LCC, Rotimi Seriki, had approached the panel to allow the firm “take possession” of the tollgate plaza to evaluate the level of damage for the purpose of insurance claims.
The LCC Managing Director, Abayomi Omomuwa, had earlier stated that save for last Friday when he led the panel on a visit to the toll plaza, the place had been inaccessible to LCC management.
Omomuwa, who was answering a question on how soon the tollgate would resume operation, said, “Any projection made here will just be guesswork. When we went there that day, I saw the level of damage. The whole tolling system is completely destroyed. It will not take anything less than six months to fix.
“I want to plead that they let us have access so that we can process insurance.”
Emphasizing Omomuwa’s request, LCC lawyer, Seriki, said, “My humble request is that if the tribunal doesn’t have further need to visit the plaza, the LCC should be permitted to take back possession of the toll plaza for the purpose of evaluation of the damage and commence the process of carrying out necessary repairs.”
But in her ruling, Justice Okuwobi said the panel agreed that it was necessary for LCC to go and evaluate the level of damage “but we will not grant that access yet. The need may arise for the panel to revisit.”
The panel chairman encouraged LCC to make the application after the panel must have watched the video footage submitted by the firm.