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Lekki shooting: We couldn’t determine authenticity of LCC’s video, forensic expert tells panel

Lekki shooting: We couldn’t determine authenticity of LCC’s video, forensic expert tells panel
September 10
16:38 2021

Joseph Kayode, managing director of Sentinel Forensics Limited, the forensic company hired to investigate the Lekki tollgate shooting of October 20, 2020, says the footage presented by Lekki Concession Company (LCC) could not be authenticated.

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Kayode presented the report of the footage tendered by LCC to the Lagos judicial panel on police brutality, on Friday.

The forensic company was hired by the state government to “conduct a forensic review” of the Lekki tollgate shooting.

On October 20, 2020, soldiers had stormed the Lekki tollgate — where protesters, mostly youths, had gathered to demonstrate against police brutality — and started shooting.

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Speaking on the digital evidence, Kayode said the video tendered by LCC couldn’t be authenticated because the forensic company did not have access to the servers from which the source recording was made.

“The authenticity of the video evidence tendered by LCC could not be determined, as we had no access to servers from which the source recording is made,” he said.

“So, when we are given a recording, we’ll have to authenticate it by going to the actual server from which it was copied. But we were made to understand that it was unavailable.”

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The forensic expert also said during “extensive virtual examination” of the video tendered, there was no sign that the footage was doctored, adding that the frames and pixels of the video were “consistent”.

“The authenticity of that video couldn’t actually be ascertained. However, we went on with our review,” Kayode said.

“However, during extensive virtual examination of the captured video, because we reviewed the footage frame by frame, the evidence as in the footage given to us did not show any sign of being doctored.

“Often, if it had been doctored, you might have a change in the pixels, you might have a change of time. None of this was observed. The timeframe and pixels were consistent, suggesting to the integrity of the tendered video footage.”

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Speaking on the examination of the scene, he said the forensic report revealed that there were “signs of extensive vandalism and arson” on the toll plaza.

He added that there was “no apparent sign of damage as a result of discharge of live ammunition” around the vicinity of the toll plaza.

“We also did extensive scene examination. The reason we did that is to ascertain if we could find any sign of, perhaps, bullet penetration on the edifices of the toll plaza that would suggest the discharge of live ammunition,” he said.

“Thorough examination of the surrounding area and edifice of the toll plaza showed signs of extensive vandalism, arson, which was not covered in the scope of our investigation.

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“We had extensive damage, but there was no apparent sign or damage as a result of discharge of live ammunition around the vicinity.”

Doris Okuwobi, chairman of the panel, adjourned the hearing till September 11 to enable the legal representatives of the state government and #EndSARS protesters cross-examine the forensic expert.

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