Video footage from the alleged Lekki Toll Gate incident along with witness submissions from Sentinel Forensics Ltd, a Forensic expert engaged by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry did not prove allegations in support of alleged killings in the report, PRNigeria can again confirm.
The judicial panel led by Justice Doris Okuwobi (Rtd) had reported that evidence shows that soldiers “actually shot blank and live bullets directly and pointedly into the midst of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, with the deliberate intention to assault, maim, and kill.”
But according to page 253 of the panel’s report, the Managing Director of Sentinel Forensics, Mr. Joseph Kayode Funsho-Ako had confirmed that his firm was in receipt of a Seagate external hard drive containing video recording from the 19th October, 2020 at the Lekki Toll Plaza at 16minutes till midnight until 8pm of 20th October 2020.
The forensic company was hired by the Lagos State government for EndSARS Panel to “conduct a forensic review” of the Lekki tollgate shooting. In the report, it stated that though the team was unable to determine the method of extraction of the video but the evidence in the footage given did not show any signs of being doctored as no change in the time and pixel was observed, suggesting the integrity of the tendered video footage.
PRNigeria reports that the alleged shooting started at 6:50 pm of 20th October 2020 as widely reported which was also covered in the video footage analysed by the Forensic firm but the alleged massacre could not be seen in the video.
The video footage of the incident also watched by PRNigeria buttresses these findings.
Also, according to Mr. Funsho-Ako on page 250 of the report, although victims who were alleged to have been shot were moved to medical facilities, they were unable to obtain a piece of the bullet allegedly fired at the individual (which could have been removed by the doctor).
He noted that this would have enabled his team to match such bullets or the cartridge casings to a firearm. He stated that this was why LAWMA was contacted, “as the bullets or casing could have been picked up during the cleaning exercise. This, the witness noted would have enabled his team to perform a Ballistics Fingerprint and cross-match the same against a specific rifle. He explained that although some of the hospitals were also contacted, they received no feedback up till the time of his appearance at the Panel.”
In fact, Mr. Funsho-Ako who was previously misreported by the media to have “lambasted the army for killings,” during an initial appearance at the Panel of Inquiry was on record of page 247 of the report during his next appearance rebuking the media for sensational misreporting.
He emphasised that his firm never stated that any part, specifically the Nigerian Army discharged ammunition at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
The part reads, “when asked to provide the full names of the digital forensic expert, the witness first sought the permission of the Panel to express his displeasure with statements and publications which made the rounds after his initial appearance before the Panel in which certain statements were presented as though they were made by the forensic specialist. He went on to explain that it was not within his schedule of duties to ascribe innocence or guilt as experts. This, he indicated, was solely within the purview of the Panel.”
He said his organization merely evaluated the evidence they presented while relying on facts and technical as well as objective procedures. He then went on to seek the protection of the Panel to implore media outlets to desist from sensationalizing their evidence.
Recall that PRNigeria has reported testimony by Dr. Babajide Lawson, a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Reddington Hospital, Lagos on the Lekki Incidence as quoted in the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry report has been found to be altered in a re-presentation by the panel.
It also reported how the panel provided a contradicting submission on forensic testimony by the Lagos State Chief Pathologist, Prof John Oladapo Obafunwa, in its report.