Following Festus Keyamo’s submission that the EndSARS judicial panel was illegal, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), a member of the judicial panel has stated that the EndSARS panels set up by state governments across the country are legal and can probe the brutality and extrajudicial killings committed by members of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.
According to him, “The Federal Government has recently muted the idea that all the Judicial Panels of Inquiry set up by the various States across the Federation, especially that of Lagos State, are illegal.”
He made it known that, “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.”
Adegboruwa maintained that, “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.”
He noted that, “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.”
This is coming after Festus Keyamo, who is the Minister for Employment and Labour reportedly stated that, “The EndSARS judicial panel was illegal because the panel is not in the jurisdiction to investigate the activities of Federal Government institutions and officials such as the Police and the Army.”
Also the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed reportedly said, “It is simply incredible that a judicial panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations, the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance.”
He added that, “Instead of sitting for all of one year, the panel could have just compiled social media tales by the moonlight on the incident and submitted, saving taxpayers’ funds and everyone’s time. That report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.”