Monday, May 20, 2024

Lawyer files FoI request for immediate release of Lekki Toll-Gate CCTV records

Inibehe Effiong also asks Jide Sanwo-Olu to publish legal documents backing the recently-constituted judicial panel of inquiry.

• October 26, 2020
Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu [
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu [Photo credit: Punch Newspaper]

A Lagos-based rights attorney has filed a freedom of information request to Governor Jide Sanwo-Olu, asking for immediate release of CCTV records at Lekki Toll-Gate.

Inibehe Effiong’s request on Monday morning came a week after Nigerian soldiers opened fire on civilian protesters in Lekki, killing at least nine.

Lights were turned off and CCTV were controversially removed in the hours preceding the massacre, an action widely seen as suspicious. 

Federal and state authorities have largely stalled investigations and widespread calls for accountability on the deadly military operation last Tuesday.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu set up a panel to conduct a two-pronged probe of decades of police brutality in Lagos and the military shooting.

“It will be in the overall public interest for these documents to be released to me timeously as that will enhance public confidence in the panel’s investigation,” Mr. Effiong said.

“Refusal of this innocuous FOI request will undermine your commitment to a credible, honest and transparent investigation into abuses by SARS in Lagos State.”

Mr. Effiong said he demanded from the governor copies of CCTV records showing the attack on #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll-Gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020, certified true copy (CTC) of the instrument setting up the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses & Lekki Toll Gate Incident with its terms of reference and certified true copy (CTC) of the instrument, order or directive under which a revised curfew was declared and imposed in Lagos State which took effect by 9:00 p.m. on October 20, 2020.

The FoI request was delivered Monday morning at the Government House, Mr. Effiong said. 

Successive administrations in Lagos have declined to comply with the FoI law since it was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, saying it was a federal law. 

Two courts have since ruled that the FoI law is binding on all states of Nigeria, prompting some states to start complying. But Lagos and Ondo have insisted on arguing the case through the Supreme Court.

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