As proceedings of the Lagos judicial panel continue in the wake of the #LekkiShootings, the latest development involving the long-awaited CCTV recording has only provided more questions.
The Lekki shooting happened. Then, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made an outright denial that there were casualties. Later, he admitted that there was one. Then came the reluctant admittance. Afterwards, he said that there was a CCTV recording that would be made public in the course of the investigations. Hopes were heightened and there was a feeling that it could hold the answers Nigerians desperately sought.
Then came the drama and a former governor of the state who is also the incumbent minister of works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, suddenly became a forensics expert with his discovery of a camera at the site of the Lekki carnage.
Nigerians duly reacted by labelling him Agent Fash, the new Sherlock Holmes. That made suspicions of a possible foul play or manipulation more obvious. Some critics on social media suggested that it might be an avenue to bring in a doctored video and that increased people’s expectations of the CCTV recording that Governor Sanwo-Olu promised on national TV.
Tuesday’s panel hearing was supposed to bring to light the content of the camera recording. The confession of the LCC Boss, Abayomi Omamuwasan, however, provided a twist many saw coming. Omamuwasan said that the cameras stopped working at 8 pm and as a result did not capture the alleged shootings.
But there’s a gap in a statement, which is that the shootings started long before 8 pm. Witnesses claimed that the shootings started around 7 pm which means there should have been at least one hour of events captured. However, this was conveniently avoided. The one-hour gap should be enough to substantiate accusations of a carnage.
If it eventually happens that there is nothing useful to be got from the recordings, then the essence of the judicial panel is technically defeated and it would prove a gross insult on the intelligence of observers of the proceedings within and beyond the country.
Ultimately, this government will lose every iota of respect and integrity with the people. Where we go from here is anybody’s guess but it may just signal the very revolution the government is trying so hard to quell.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.