Following the decision of Lagos StateJudicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses & Lekki Toll Gate Incident to allow Lekki Concession Company to repossess and reopen the tollgate, activists in the state are set to organize another wave of protests.
LCC had on four different occasions made an application before the panel to allow it repossess the toll plaza in order to evaluate damages caused during the #EndSARS protest and make insurance claims.
During one of the applications on January 5, Chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi said the government has paid a forensic expert to examine the scene of the Lekki shooting and LCC needs to await the report of the forensic examination.
On February 6 when hearing of the forensic examination resumed, Mrs. Okuwobi, Chairperson said that LCC has every right to repossess the toll plaza, their place of business, as they have interest in that place and that it will be foolhardy for the toll plaza to remain closed for a lifetime.
She thereafter ruled:
“Upon all said, I thereby give an order for LCC to repossess the tollgate which has been under the control of the panel upon indication given that the forensic analysis of the said toll plaza is to be concluded. The order made for repossession is for evaluation of the plaza by LCC insurers, renovation and total control.”
Her ruling did not go down well with other members of the panel. Mr Adegboruwa, Patience Udoh (lawyer and human rights activist) and the two representatives of the youth, Rinuola Oduola and Temitope Majekodunmi, said the decision of the judge and other members of the panel does not represent theirs.
The group, taking an opposite stance from the majority, questioned the decision of the judge to reopen the tollgate, which has not been operational since October 20, last year, when armed soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters at the toll plaza.
The dissent of these four members sparked debates on the social media about reopening the tollgate at this time. Activists are therefore irked by the ruling of Justice Doris Okwubi and are ready to hit the streets again in protest on February 13, 2021.