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Lekki Toll Plaza shootings: Forensic firm, Sentinel, debunks alleged indictment of Nigerian Army

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Lovetvnews Nigeria reports that the management of Sentinel Forensic Limited, has debunked reports that it indicted the Nigerian Army in the ongoing Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Related Abuses and other matters.

 

This is coming against backdrop of reports that the Nigerian Army was indicted in the forensic investigation of the alleged shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza on October 20, 2020.

It would be recalled that the head of the team from Sentinel Forensics Limited, Joseph Kayode, had presented their report before the panel on Friday and stated their observations.

The Forensic firm against reports on the internet and social media platforms suggesting that its findings implicated and indicted the Nigerian Army in the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekkt toll plaza on October 20th 2020, described such reports as “biased and unbalanced” reporting.

Describing the report as “false and fake news,” the firm stated that their specialist mentioned amongst other things that the live ammunition tendered as exhibit by the Nigerian Army was of the same type of cartridge and calibre as the ammunition casings tendered by the Judicial Panel which is 7.62 x 39mm, while the blank ammunition tendered was of a different cartridge type 7.62mm x 54mm.

The company noted that their specialist testified in accordance with standard operating protocol in forensics and crime scene investigation which relies on analysis of physical evidence backed by empirical scientific procedures to draw objective conclusions and inferences and not hear-say or sensationalism.

This online news medium learnt that the company categorically stated that section six above does not in any way, manner or form indict or absolve any of the parties currently before the Judicial Panel as it sits to determine what occurred at Lekki Toll Plaza on October 20th 2020 in line with best practice and principles of fairness.

“In adjudication parties are considered innocent until proven guilty and the role of an expert witness is never to ascribe innocence or guilt but to support the courts in its finding,” Sentinel Forensic Limited said

The firm strongly advised all news outlets to desist from sensational reporting and reach out to Sentinel Forensic Limited, via their widely circulated contact address on any matter where they require their direct comments.

The press statement entitled “Refutting False Reporting on Forensic Expert Testimony Regarding Finding in the Investigation Into the Allegations of Shooting Involving ENDARS Protesters At The Lekki Toll Gate,” partly read: “Our attention is drawn to online news reporting and social media posts, currently making rounds relating to our expert witness testimony delivered on 10th September 2021 before the Lagos state Judicial panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS related abuses sitting at the court of arbitration Lekki Lagos state.

“News making rounds on the internet and social media platforms suggests that Sentinel Forensic Limited findings implicate and indict the Nigerian Army in the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20th 2020, is biased and unbalanced reporting, this is false and fake news.

“Our forensic specialist commented that following an extensive scene investigation at the Lekki Toll Plaza, TP, by our team of specialist about 87 days after the incidence there was an absence of any physical evidence supporting the allegations of discharge of live ammunition by Nigerian Army personnel. This scene investigation was conducted days after Sentinel Forensics Ltd was engaged by the Judicial Panel of inquiry.

“With respect to the ballistic evidence presented to Sentinel Forensics Ltd for forensic examination by the Judicial Panel our specialist indicated that two cartridge casings, from expended and fired, of 7.62 x 39mm ammunition was tendered by the Judicial Panel as evidence recovered at the scene, while one unit of live, unexpended, not fired, ammunition and one unit of cartridge case, expended, fired round,7.62 x 33mm ammunition was tendered by the Nigerian Army

“The Nigerian Army also tendered one unit of blank, unexpended, not fired, 7.62 ×51mm ammunition and one unit of blank expended, fired round,7.62 x 51mm ammunition.

“We strongly advise all new outlets to desist from sensational reporting and reach out to us via our widely circulated tontact address on any matter where they require our direct comments.”

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