Most of the videos showing the attacks on police stations across the country during last year’s #EndSARS protests were downloaded from the internet, Oludotun Odubona, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Enquiry on Friday.
Mr Odubona, who represented Hakeem Odumosu, the state’s police commissioner, disclosed this while being cross-examined by Adesina Ogunlana and Oluwatomi Olagunju, counsels to the #EndSARS protesters.
Mr Odubona had earlier presented several videos to the panel explaining how police officers were attacked and the activities of #EndSARS protesters.
“You have brought several videos before the panel. Can you tell us your source?” Mr Olagunju asked.
“Like I mentioned it before, a lot of the videos were taken from the internet,” the assistant police commissioner replied.
When asked whether the police relied on the description given to them by the people who posted them on the internet, Mr Odubona said there were landmarks and other pointers that helped the police to identify the locations.
Mr Olagunju said some of the videos had no bearing or connection to the protests of October 2020, yet, the police presented them as evidence for the #EndSARS protests.
In a video played by the #EndSARS counsel, he pointed out that the video was a Snapchat video made on 13 November, 2020.
The assistant commissioner, who was asked to verify the stamp date on the video, confirmed that it was made on the aforementioned date.
“You will agree with me that there were no #EndSARS protests on the 13th of November, 2020,” Mr Olagunju said.
“Rather than the investigative duty expected of the Nigerian Police, what you simply did was to open your computer and bring all manners of garbage before the panel.”
At the mention of ‘garbage,’ Cyril Ajifor, the police counsel, leaped out of his seat and shouted at Mr Olagunju, demanding an apology.
“My Lord, I take exception to that choice of language by my learned friend, what do you mean by garbage. You must apologise for that choice of language,” Mr Ajifor said.
“Out of 100 videos, you are pointing one and saying garbage, that is not right to say.”
Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge, heading the panel, disagreed with the police lawyer.
“Mr Ajifor, it is a computer language, which means garbage in garbage out,” she said, putting to an end the exchange of words between the lawyers.
‘Unaware of thugs’
Continuing his cross-examination, Mr Olagunju asked whether the police conducted any investigation into the alleged killings by police officers during the protests.
Mr Odubona explained that investigations were conducted into the killing of officers and looting of the police armoury during the period.
Mr Ogunlana asked whether the police was aware that thugs tried to disrupt the protests and some people who attempted to pilfer or cause unrest at protest grounds were arrested by the protesters and handed over to the police.
“I am not aware of thugs or whatever you called them tried to disrupt the protest,” Mr Odubona responded.
Speaking on the evidence of the police that all gunshot injuries must be reported by doctors, Mr Ogunlana asked whether if such reports were not made, it would mean that the doctors that testified before the panel lied.
“If there was no report of gunshot injuries at the police stations, that means it did not happen.
“I am not aware that any doctor gave treatment to gunshot victims, not to talk of reporting cases, I don’t know how I will handle that,” Mr Odubona said.
Following different submissions by the counsels and application for summons on the DPO, Maroko station, Raji Ganiyu, the matter was adjourned till 24 September for further hearing.
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