In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 04th, November, 2020

How SARS Operatives Broke My Spinal Cord, Petitioner Tells Panel

How SARS Operatives Broke My Spinal Cord, Petitioner Tells Panel

Mr. Ndukwe Ekekwe, a day a 34-year-old merchant, told the panel how the disbanded SARS operatives threw him down from a two-storey building, which confined him to a wheelchair, Vanguard reports.

Giving details on how the cameras were stopped on the day of the shooting, the LCC MD said: “We never ever tempered with the surveillance cameras until about 8pm, when it was tampered with and stopped recording. The network was interfered with, which stopped the recording.

According to him, “the cameras that were removed at the Lekki toll gate were number plate recognition cameras. They identify vehicle, vehicle identity and vehicle type.”

He said in the early hours of October 20, when they noticed that the protesters had started vandalising their equipment, they removed the automatic number plate recognition cameras, laptops and other systems.

The LCC MD, who was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Rotimi Seriki,  submitted footage from the Lekki toll gate but said the video footage did not have audio.

He said “We didn’t activate audio recording, the reason is that it’s used for traffic not security.”

Omomuwasi said they had three surveillance cameras, noting: “One is located at Lekki toll gate, one at Ikoyi bridge and othe other at Chevron office. The cameras are linked via network, controlled from Chevron.”

He  said they had one camera on the server, “which is located at Chevron and Ikoyi plaza, which has been burnt. The power is supplied from an IPP somewhere in Lekki Phase 1.  If there is no power, we have generator. We also have a UPS because the toll gate light can never be off.

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When asked by the counsel representing the Lagos State government , Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN, if he could confirm any verifiable casualty from events of October 20, 2020, Omomuwasi said no.

Omomuwasi said: “We usually put the light on at about 7:30pm. Our people left the location at 4pm. Everyone was asked to go after the curfew was declared, because they didn’t want to provoke #EndSARS protesters.”

Asked about the suspected bullet shells found at Lekki tollgate during the panel’s visit last Friday, he replied that they still do not know what it was.

Asked if he believed the governor ordered the alleged shooting at the Lekki tollgate, Omomuwasi said: “None of the Lekki Concession staff physically witnessed the shooting; we can only rely on the footage.”

Chairman of the panel, Okuwobi said the panel was only investigating adding that anyone with interest should come forward with evidence.

How SARS operatives broke my spinal cord, petitioner tells panel

Meanwhile,  a victim, Ekekwe, told the panel that on February 16, 2018, he was at his shop at Alaba Rago, in Alaba International market, when he was arrested by SARS, who handcuffed him. When he asked them to show their identification cards, and that he wanted to know his offence, they started shooting and told him that the order was from the Inspector General of Police.

The petitioner, who said he sells phone accessories and other things, noted that when he was arrested, he tried to raise alarm so that other people could see what was happening. The operatives called one Haruna Amaz, who told them (operatives) to keep me busy. That was when they forced me upstairs and then threw me down from a two-storey building.

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Narrating his ordeal, Ekekwe said: “They carried me and dumped me at the Police College Hospital, Ikeja. My mother traced me to that place and took me to Igbobi where I was rejected before I was taken to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.

“I want justice and I also want them to compensate me. I spent two months at the hospital. I only spent two days at the custody of SARS, when they broke my warehouse and sold my goods.”

Further hearing in the matter was adjourned till November 13.

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