By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) through its counsel, Rotimi Seriki has prayed the Lagos Judicial Panel to allow the company operating the Lekki Toll Plaza return to the facility.
Mr. Seriki made this plea on Tuesday stating that the LCC should be granted access to the plaza for insurance companies to evaluate the site and carry out repairs.
The counsel told the panel that a lot of damage has been done to the plaza and that there was a recent attempt to loot and vandalize the facility on December 14, 2020.
“My application is made more imperative by developments after the last sitting. Specifically, on the 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 said.
The legal counsel brought a police report and photographs of the vandalization and looting which he sought to tender as exhibit before the panel.
However, his application was objected to by Adeshina Ogunlana, the counsel to #EndSARS protester. Ogunlana argued that the admission of the police report as exhibit by the panel should be by the police counsel or Promomedia Limited as the report was addressed to the media company, not the LCC.
“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 linkage between the police report tendered before the panel and the LCC.
Mr. Seriki counter-argued that the documents were tendered to aid their application to re-open the plaza for repairs by the insurance company and not to aid investigation.
He also said the advertising company is being managed by the LCC because the LCC owns the Lekki Toll plaza and there is a connection between the two.
Counsel to the Lagos State government, Mr. Olukayode Enitan said the LCC is fully owned by the state government, noting that the infrastructure is not further degraded.
Mr. Enitan said there was present damage that the LCC wishes to access and the Panel should not close its eyes to further damage of infrastructure.
“Should the panel turn its eye to further destruction of these assets? I think that won’t be fair to every citizen of Lagos,” Mr. Enitan said.
Justice Doris Okuwobi (retired), the presiding judge stood down the matter to allow the police counsel to verify the document sought to be tendered by the counsel to the LCC.
Since the Lekki shooting on October 20, the Toll Plaza has been closed but opened for vehicular movement.
The panel has resisted applications by Mr. Seriki on previous occasions to let the LCC return to the toll plaza as the site has been under investigation by the panel.
However, Justice Doris Okuwobi permitted both the LCC and #EndSARS counsel to investigate the site as they deem fit. She allowed both parties two weeks to investigate and do forensic analysis of the scene.