The Counsel to the #EndSARS protesters at the Lagos Judicial Panel of inquiry, Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, has said there are irregularities in the footage submitted by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to the panel.
Ogunlana said this while cross-examining the Managing Director of LCC, Abayomi Omowuwasa, on Friday.
He noted that the footage showed that the surveillance camera was manually operated as against the evidence given by the director that the surveillance cameras were self-operating.
“On that October 20, there was a human being behind, directing the camera, because of the irregularities has shown by the footage,” Ogunlana said.
Omowuwasa had said there was no manual control of the camera and that experts installed the camera and it self-operates and regulates.
“The camera is designed to work automatically, panning, tilting, and zooming are already programmed,” he said.
Ogunlana said between 12:00 and 13:00 hours of the footage, there is evidence of irregularities of the filming at the time the shooting occurred.
“There were fluctuations, substantial fluctuations in the time of the panning, of the tilting, and of the zooming.
“You will see that from 12:00 hours to 1 pm; that is 13:00 hours, the camera was tilting and panning and rotating at an average of 15 to 19 seconds to capture the entire area. I will demonstrate that to you,” Ogunlana said.
However, Mr Rotimi Seriki, Counsel to the LCC, objected to his application, saying that the panel should restrict Ogunlana to the hours viewed, between 5 pm and 7:59 pm.
“Mr Ogunlana has conceded that the relevant part of the footage is from 5 pm to 8 pm, which the entire panel watched, which he also has an advance copy. Asking questions about what happened at 12 midnight and 1 pm, I do not know the relevance of that to that issue,” he said.
Another EndSARS Counsel at the hearing, Olumide Fusika, SAN, urged the panel to be interested in what Ogunlana wants to establish.
“What Mr Ogunlana is trying to say is that there was a manual intervention. If it is preset, the sequence of changes will be relevant. If there is an irregularity, at least, we should get the evidence.”
He urged the panel to look into the evidence Mr Ogunlana seeks to tender as it will help the panel in its fact-finding mission.
Abiodun Owonikoko, Counsel to the state government in the matter, also objected to the request by Ogunlana to show the discrepancies observed in different parts of the footage.
“This panel is a panel guided by terms of reference and once the party stipulates a particular evidence as irrelevant one in respect of the matter, by consent we are bound by that understanding.
“There was a reason we opted not to deal with footage from 12 midnight till 4:59 pm because we considered it irrelevant to the business of the panel.
“It is impossible to ask questions on the initial 16 hours under pre-examination unless we view the entire footage,” he said.
Owonikoko urged the panel to restrict Ogunlana to hours of the footage that have been viewed by the panel.
Ogunlana thereafter applied for the panel to watch the entire footage for him to be able to show evidence.
Delivering her judgement on the matter, Justice (Mrs) Doris Okuwobi (rtd), the chairperson of the panel, said the panel cannot watch the remaining hours of the footage but Ogunlana will be allowed to play 12:00 to 13:00 hours of the footage, so he can make his evidence.
She noted that the projector had a minor issue and the case would be stepped down until the projector is fixed.
All attempts to get the projector working were abortive. Okuwobi, however, adjourned the matter till December 11 for further hearing.