This is an opinion piece by Favour Amako.
It is 10 days now, yet Nigerians have not seen the CCTV footage from the Lekki Toll Gate night massacre.
I recall vividly that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during one of his appearances on Arise Television, did claim to have the footage. Even today, the Lagos Concession Company, LCC, Managers of the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza, also testified that the CCTV footage is intact.
The unanswered question remains, where is the video footage? When will it be tabled before the court of public opinion?
Before the power that be change the narrative, let it be on record that forensic analysis of videos showing the killing of protesters at the Lekki toll-gate area by Soldiers, has shown them to be authentic, in spite of the Nigerian Army’s classification of the reports as fake, and the Defence Headquarters’ claim that the videos were doctored.
A report published by the Digital Forensic Research, DRF, Lab stated: ”Several videos corroborate the location and presence of Nigerian Soldiers at the Lekki Toll Plaza, a major toll highway toll concession in the south of Lagos.
“Video footage posted on Twitter, place Nigerian Soldiers at the plaza, where they are seen approaching peaceful demonstrators and opening fire. Subsequent footage shows injured civilians being carried away from the same location.
“A different video shows what appears to be Soldiers of the Nigerian Army approaching protesters where they were stationed behind plastic barriers. Soldiers approached the group and opened fire. No warning is heard in the video. Muzzle flashes indicate that several of the shots seen and heard here, were fired into the air”, it stated.
It confirmed using features close to the toll-gate and across the channel that the video was taken, “looking into a Northern direction on the Eastern part of the toll gate, suggesting that protesters were approached from both the East and West by Law Enforcement, as suggested by some witnesses”.
“Video footage also identified injured protesters at the same scene. The author of a video uploaded to Twitter, on October 20, shows injured and bloodied protesters with the author claiming they were shot by Soldiers. As the video pans, a parking garage to the South of the toll gate can be seen.
“Another video taken in front of the toll gate showed several injured protesters being carried off in the presence of camouflaged Soldiers, presumably the same Soldiers seen in the second video above. At least two protesters are carried away, while a third is seen on the ground during the video.
”Geolocation of the last video placed Soldiers at the Southern section of the toll-gate’s Eastern Part.
“Despite denials by the Nigerian Army, open-source evidence links the presence of Nigerian Soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate, at the same time as the first reports of shooting came in.
“Video footage also showed Lekki Toll Gate protesters, who had been peaceful in the preceding 11 days, bloodied and injured in the presence of these Soldiers”, the DFRLab noted.
According to Amnesty International, an on-the-ground investigation revealed that at least 10 people were killed, when Armed Officials of the Nigerian Army opened fire on the protesters.
“These shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions. There must be an immediate investigation, and suspected perpetrators must be held accountable through fair trials. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for the victims and their families”, it said.
From the above forensic evidence, I do hope that justice will be served. Nigerians are anxiously waiting and crying for justice.
Favour Amako, a Journalist, Youth Pastor, and Social Critic, writes from Abuja.