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You are wrong, #EndSARS panels are legal – Adegboruwa replies Keyamo

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who was also a member of the Lagos judicial panel constituted to probe the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has faulted claims by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo that the panel is illegal.

Keyamo (SAN), on Sunday, had dismissed the EndSARS panel set up by the Lagos State Government and the report it presented to the state government recently, saying it was illegal because it was out of the jurisdiction of the panel to investigate the activities of Federal Government institutions and officials such as the Police and the Army.

But Adegboruwa said the judicial panels were set up at the behest of the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council, and so, cannot be termed illegal because the findings of some of the panels aren’t in favour of the regime of the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

“The EndSARS Panels were set up at the behest of the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council. In the case of the Lagos Panel, the federal government, through the Nigerian Army, voluntarily submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the Panel, the federal government called witnesses, it tendered documents and it made very lengthy presentations.

“A party cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. Thus, a party who initiated a process and willingly and actively participated in that process, cannot turn around, after judgment, to plead illegality or absence of jurisdiction, simply because the outcome is unfavourable. We must strengthen our institutions to make them work.

“While we all await the White Paper from the Lagos State Government, it is important for government to build trust in the people in all its dealings and utterances.”

Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel on November 15, 2021, submitted its report to the Lagos State Government, noting that at least nine persons were confirmed dead at the Lekki toll plaza when soldiers stormed the tollgate to disperse EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

The 309-page leaked report stated, “The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags and while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a massacre in context.”

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