#LekkiMassacre: Fashola ‘discovers hidden camera’ at toll gate days after clean up

The Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s works minister, claimed on Sunday that he discovered a hidden camera at Lekki Toll-Gate, scene of the fatal shooting of unarmed protesters by Nigerian troops on October 20.

Mr. Fashola, accompanied by other senior administration officials, purportedly stumbled on the gadget during an on-the-spot assessment of the military attack on protesters.

Emergency Digest reports that the lights at the toll gate unusually went off before the soldiers opened fire on protesters singing the national anthem and waving the Nigerian flag, killing at least 15.

Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who defended the blackout, had said there was a consensus arrangement by management of the toll plaza to pull off the light because of the curfew put in place to restore order in the state due to unrest from the #EndSARS protests.

Mr. Sanwo-olu also denied claims that the CCTV at the toll gate was disconnected before the carnage by the military, in a manipulative move to suppress evidence.

However, Mr. Fashola’s discovery has failed to resonate with Nigerians, who query how the minister conveniently found the camera at the scene of the shooting, days after the state’s Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, had carried out a cleanup exercise at the plaza.

Mr. Fashola while handing over the device to Governor Sanwo-olu, after reportedly picking it up with the aid of a handkerchief, stated that the camera — when subjected to forensic analysis — would be helpful in unraveling the mystery surrounding the shootings at the plaza.

The minister, who has come under severe backlash from Nigerians since his “suspicious discovery” noted that the camera must have been planted prior to the shootings by “some subversive elements.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to hold anyone accountable for the massacre, fueling speculation that he ordered it as the commander in chief.

In 2015, the Nigerian president justified the massacre of over 1,000 Shiites in Zaria, saying they were wrong to have tapped military generals in the chest at a checkpoint.

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos government to probe human rights violations by the defunct SARS operatives, as well as investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll plaza is expected to commence sitting today.

The panel, led by Justice Doris Okuwobi will, among other things, review petitions and evidence submitted by members of the public on the Lekki massacre.

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