Secretary of the Loatsad Promomedia Limited, an advert firm, Ambimbola Eniola, over the weekend, told the Lagos judicial panel of inquiry that the “essence” of the electronic billboard at the Lekki Toll Plaza of Lagos was for advert and not illumination.
Shortly after the billboard was shut down, the Nigerian army had opened fire on the #EndSARS protesters on 2nd October 2020 during their demonstration against police brutality at the Lekki Tollgate.
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Eniola, who testified before the panel, made this known when the protesters’ lawyer, Adeshina Ogunlana, said, “Your billboard is a strong illuminated board and very big.”
But Mr Eniola said the “billboard does not serve the purpose of providing illumination for that place. It does not provide light for that place,” adding that it is purely for advert purpose.
Mr Eniola said their human resources head, Chisa Olabode, via their online group chat gave the directive to turn off the billboard. This was in response to Mr Ogunlana’s question: “Who gave the order to switch off” the billboard?
In the updated post on the firm’s official Instagram handle, the company explained that: ‘‘All we operate is the billboard at this location and we have no control over the street lights or CCTV.
‘‘When we were approached by the organisers of the protest to help them with power, we gave them unfettered use of our generator and ensured our technical staff was physically present to control the board for their use and when the events were over, he would leave at midnight.’’
Sarah Ibrahim, a protester who had claimed that at least 10 people were killed at the Lekki tollgate did not appear before the panel due to ill-health.