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Controversy as Lagos Judicial Panel approves reopening of Lekki tollgate

The panel sitting on Saturday, February 6, 2021, ended on a controversial note as four members of the panel disagreed with the ruling.

Lagos judicial panel sitting of Nov 3, 2020 (Twitter: @EditiEffiong)

The panel set up by the Lagos State Government last year during the nationwide #EndSARS protests, returned the control of the tollgate to the Lekki Concession Company, the operators, on Saturday, February 6, 2021.

The panel had stopped LCC from operating the tollgate since Nigerian soldiers shot at the protesters who convened at the tollgate to protest against police brutality and poor governance in the country.

Meanwhile, the LCC through its counsel, has been praying the panel to allow it to take over the plaza for repair and insurance claims since December 2020.

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But the panel turned down the prayer on the ground that forensic experts have been paid by the state government to examine the tollgate with respect to the shooting incident.

However, during its sitting on Saturday, February 6, 2021, the panel chairperson, Justice Doris Okwuobi (rtd), approved the reopening of the toll gate after the company’s counsel argued that “LCC is the only entity that has had its hand tied, despite the huge financial loss it has suffered and not been able to carry out its business since the incident took place.”

The sitting ended on a controversial note as four members of the panel including youth representatives, who were earlier not present in the courtroom, walked in to disagree with the ruling.

While one of them, Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN) rose to object to the ruling on the ground that the panel does not form a quorum if the youth representatives are not present, other members of the panel walked out of the courtroom.

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