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Why FG cannot reject Lagos #EndSARS panel’s report -Adegboruwa




A LAWYER Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has said that the Federal Government cannot reject the report of the Lagos State #EndSARS panel and others even if they are not favourable to it.

Adegboruwa, a member of the panel, said this in a statement seen by The ICIR on Monday.

He said that the panels could not be declared illegal by the Federal Government which  directed states to set them up through Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo- led National Executive Council (NEC) last October.

He also stressed that there was no way the Federal Government could plead illegality because it fully participated in the panel’s proceedings through the appearances of the Police and the Army for testimonies.

“It has never been part of our legal system in Nigeria, for a plaintiff who approached the court in the first instance, to turn around to challenge the legality or jurisdiction of the court,” he said.

“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 unfavorable. We must strengthen our institutions to make them work.”

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Adegboruwa’s comments were responses to comments by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo who said on Sunday that the outcome of the Lagos judicial panel was illegal and a waste of time.

Citing the exclusive powers of the Federal Government under the amended 1999 Constitution, Keyamo noted that the panel could not probe the conduct of the Police and the military because the state government constituted it.

The Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been making frantic efforts to discredit the Lagos #EndSARS panel’s report since the findings of the report, particularly on Lekki Toll Gate, which was leaked to the media.

In the report, the panel indicted the Nigerian Army and the Lagos State Government in the killing of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate and the subsequent cover-up of the incident.

Reacting, controversial Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed described the report as ‘tales by moonlight.’

He said that the report was riddled with errors and inconsistencies.

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