BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered full scale investigation into alleged brutalization of protesters who converged on the Lekki toll gate on Saturday to stage a protest in reaction to the Lagos State Judicial Panel’s decision permitting the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to repossess the Lekki toll gate.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this on Monday, at a media briefing organised by management of Lekki Concession Company, (LCC), in Lagos to clear the air on some controversial reports in the media.
Omotoso said, ‘’The governor is very unhappy with what happened on Saturday that people were brutalised and he has directed the state’s Commissioner of Police Mr. Hakeem Odumosu to investigate the matter and whoever is found culpable, I assure you, will not go without having his name in the punishment. This is because Mr Sanwo-Olu has said it loud and clear that he is not somebody who will abuse the rights of others.
‘’That’s why the whole thing started, you will recall, he joined the protests twice. He waved the flag, he carried the placard and he took the position of the protesters to the president. Besides that, he addressed them. So he is not going to be the one who will stand by and watch Lagosians being brutalized.’’
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the LCC, Yomi Omomuwasan appealed for the understanding of aggrieved youths who are bent on preventing the company from commencing the evaluation of the extent of the damage done to its assets on the night of Tuesday, October 20, 2020, citing the subsisting bank debts and the fate of its over 500 workers as compelling reasons the process ought to begin now.
Omomuwasan expressed regret that some people were using fake news to misinform Nigerians about the company’s ownership and whip up public sentiment against its return to business.
He disclosed that LCC owed N23.9 billion and $49.6 million to local and foreign lenders as of December 31, 2011, lamenting that the forceful takeover of the Tollgate by #EndSARS protesters and its subsequent destruction had affected its ability to service its debts.
He said, “As of January 31, 2021, the outstanding debt liability from the local lenders is in the region of N11.6 billion and from the foreign lenders $31.1 million (USD), with the difference being the amount LCC has so far paid the lenders. It is important to say that, before the #ENDSARS protest, LCC had continued to meet up with servicing its loan obligations without default to the lenders.’’