Lawyers threaten to sue Lagos panel for returning Lekki tollgate to LCC

The decision of the Lagos Panel of Inquiry to allow Lekki Concession Company (LCC) repossess the Lekki Toll Plaza has attracted potential litigation.

The panel was set up to investigate allegations of police brutality levelled against the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The panel, although having no power to criminally prosecute anyone, was also mandated to probe the October-20-2020 shooting of protesters at the Lekki tollgate by Nigerian soldiers.

Since the panel was constituted, LCC was barred from collecting toll at the facility. But that changed on February 6 when the panel voted to return the tollgate to the company.

As protesters vowed to return to the streets to show displeasure at the decision, Eti-Osa Bar Forum has threatened to drag the Lagos panel to court over the development.

This was made known in a statement issued by forum spokesperson Yakubu Eleto on Friday.

The forum said that the reported plans by the Lagos and Nigerian governments to clamp down on protesters who have vowed to occupy the tollgate on Saturday would amount to a violation of their human rights.

Information minister Lai Mohammed had threatened to unleash government forces on violent demonstrators, adding that the security agencies “are ready for any eventuality”.

But the legal forum urged the government to simply protect the protesters as they would be peaceful.

The forum also appealed to Lagos attorney-general tMoyosore Onigbanjo to advise the Babajide Sanwo-Olu government against the reopening of the Lekki tollgate for full business, given that, according to the forum, the panel had no legal right to make that decision.

The forum also advised the government to simply dialogue with protesters, not threaten or attack them.

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