Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions on taking pictures

Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions about shooting


The footage from the safety digital camera overlooking the toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria was performed throughout Saturday’s session of an eight-person judicial panel set as much as examine police brutality and the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad — the first focus of thousands-strong protests within the metropolis that lasted for nearly two weeks in October.

The panel can be charged by the Lagos State authorities with probing the taking pictures of protesters on the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20 and into the early hours of October 21.

Source obtained a replica of the CCTV footage forward of the panel’s sitting on Saturday and matched it as much as verified footage printed as a part of an investigation final week into the occasions on the toll gate.

The footage corroborates the timings Source reported for the gunshots fired by the military. It additionally reveals troopers approaching protesters and firing photographs.

What is maybe most notable is what’s lacking.

At 6:47 p.m., the second when Source has video of the military showing to fireside instantly at protesters, the surveillance digital camera pans away from the realm.

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the agency that operates the toll gate in a public-private partnership, says its employees have been sent home before an evening curfew, imposed by the State’s Governor, got here into impact.

The surveillance digital camera pans left and tilts up earlier than reframing and struggling for focus. It is unclear if the digital camera pans away intentionally or whether or not the pan away is a poor alternative by the CCTV operator.

The LCC had previously testified at the panel on November three that the recording stopped at round eight p.m. as a result of it was tampered with.

The surveillance footage as soon as once more raises questions concerning the investigation into what occurred on the Lekki toll gate protest — and why surveillance video from the night doesn’t present a extra full image.

In the aftermath of CNN’s investigation, the United States and the United Kingdom have known as on Nigeria to make sure that its investigation is free and truthful.

On Monday, the UK parliament debated a petition in search of to sanction the Nigerian authorities and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) over alleged human rights abuses.

The overseas workplace additionally launched an announcement saying: “The Foreign Secretary has been clear that the Nigerian government must urgently investigate reports of brutality at the hands of the security forces and hold those responsible to account.

“It is vital that the police in Nigeria respect human rights. We have been working with Nigeria to assist reforms to make sure this occurs.”

The police said it would not comment until after the judicial inquiry. However, in a tweet in early November, it denied shooting at protesters.

“…our law enforcement officials by no means resorted to make use of of illegal pressure or taking pictures on the protesters as alleged within the report.”

Since the shooting, which brought an end to the protest movement in Africa’s most populous country, the army has made many shifting statements about how it engaged with the peaceful demonstrators.

The army has repeatedly said the soldiers deployed to the toll gate fired into the air and not at protesters directly. The army did not respond to multiple requests from CNN for comment. On Twitter, it repeatedly stamped news accounts of the shooting as “Fake News.”

However, social media footage — submitted by the army’s own counsel to the panel on Saturday — featured an eyewitness saying, “they’re taking pictures at protesters.” It appeared to be the same video that CNN geo-located which was shot from the nearby Oriental Hotel in Lekki on October 20.

On Saturday, military spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo also contradicted previous testimony to the judicial panel by saying that the military was geared up on the night time with stay rounds.

“For the safety of the pressure, we carried stay bullets in case they have been attacked. But the troopers who shaped the firing staff, who fired as you could possibly see within the video […] carried magazines charged with clean ammunition.”

CNN’s investigation had revealed the use of live ammunition at the toll gate, based on analysis carried out by ballistics experts and conversations with military sources.

The army has insisted that only blanks were used.

Adesina Ogunlana, a lawyer who is representing some of the “#EndSARS” protesters at the judicial panel, told CNN another protester died recently after falling into a coma from injuries sustained on October 20.

“I noticed one in every of them that was shot at and brought to Reddington (Hospital),” Ogunlana said. “About … three Sundays in the past, I used to be there and there was this particular person shot within the head. He’s lifeless now.”

“What blanks lodge in someone’s mind and keep there and ship him to a coma, killing him?”

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the death of this person.

On Saturday, Brigadier Taiwo once again rejected any responsibility by the army for deaths of protesters, saying that one of the deaths was from “blunt pressure trauma to the pinnacle on Admiralty Way … three kilometers away from the Lekki toll gate. And the second particular person at Yaba.”

“It had nothing in any way to do with the Lekki toll gate,” he mentioned.

In response to Source’s investigation, the Nigerian government said the news organization needs to be sanctioned and alleged that doctored movies have been used, describing the reporting as “faux information” and “misinformation.”
Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate

Source stands by its investigation, an organization spokesperson mentioned.

“Our reporting was rigorously and meticulously researched, and we stand by it,” the spokesperson said via email.

In a letter addressed to CNN on November 23, Nigeria’s Ministry of Information demanded an internal investigation into CNN’s reporting, as a “type of remediation” and to “decide whether or not it met the fundamental requirements of journalism.” The Minister added in the letter that the “Federal Government reserves the suitable to take any motion inside its legal guidelines to stop Source from aggravating the #EndSARS disaster.”

CNN’s November 19 report included photos and videos of gunshots, the wounded, and victims. The videos, acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters, were verified in interviews, and by using timestamps and other data from the media files.

Ogunlana, the lawyer representing some of the protesters, said the evidence the army continues to submit to the judicial panel is undermining its defense.

“There’s a proverb amongst my folks,” Ogunlana said. “They say the wasp is in denial, the large black ant identified for his horrible sting is in denial, however right here is the face of the farmer, so badly swollen.”

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