FG can’t declare #EndSARS panels illegal after setting them up – Adegboruwa tells Keyamo

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa says the Federal Government cannot turn around to declare judicial panels on police brutality as illegal having set them up.

He said that the Federal Government authorised the setting up of the judicial panels through a directive from the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led National Economic Council (NEC).

Adegboruwa, who served on the judicial panel in Lagos, said this in a Monday statement.

His statement appeared to have been issued in response to a comment made by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.

The Lagos judicial panel recently submitted its report, which accused the Army and police of killing and maiming protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

Reacting to the development, Keyamo described the judicial panel as “illegal and a waste of time”.

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In an apparent counter-reaction, Adegboruwa said, “The federal government has recently mooted 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.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

 

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