The Lagos State Government says it plans to call two expert witnesses who will give ‘global evidence’ on all incidents relating to the Lekki shooting of October 20, 2020.
This submission was made today by counsel to the State Government, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abiodun Owonikoko before the Lagos judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS and other matters, on Saturday.
The counsel made the submission after a petitioner, Lucky Philemon closed his case necessitating a defence from the Lagos State Government, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), and the Nigerian Army.
In previous proceedings before the panel, Philemon, an amputee, had asked to be compensated with the sum of N200million as damages for the inconvenience of losing his limbs at the Lekki toll gate protest.
Philemon who says he was shot by the military on the night of October 20 is also demanding N1.5million for psychological evaluation, N5million for the cost of subsequent medical care, and $50,000 for Prosthetic limbs.
The Nigerian Army has since withdrawn its participation from the proceedings of the panel and was not available to testify in its defence to Philemon’s claims.
The Lagos State government on its part said it would rather wait for all petitioners involved in the Lekki incident to conclude their cases after which it will give ‘global evidence’ through two expert witnesses.
Counsel to the LCC, Rotimi Seriki, aligned with the submission of the counsel to the state government and submitted that the LCC will also present a uniform response to all the Lekki toll gate incidents as it would be repetitive to respond individually, a situation he says may waste the time of the panel.
Counsel to Lucky Philemon, Chinedu Nwota has however objected to this procedure. He contends that granting the application of the Lagos state government will not address the individual concerns of each petitioner, a situation which he believes will defeat the interest of justice. He asked the panel to reject the application.
The panel took a short break to consider its ruling and when it returned, the Chairman, Justice Doris Okuwobi held that the petition will be stepped down in the light of arguments canvassed In respect of the proceedings and parties will be advised of the next date of the panel’s sitting.