Lekki shooting: Only state govt can invite us to appear before judicial panel – Army

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The Nigerian Army says only the Lagos State Government and not a member of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry can summon it to explain its role in the shooting incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20.

This followed an invitation extended to the Army by the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel probing the incident as well as human rights violations by operatives of the now-defunct SARS.

Quoting an unnamed member of the panel, Sunday Punch reported that the military has already been invited to appear before the committee, although its date of appearance has not been fixed.

“No date yet. But surely, we are summoning the military, police and everybody relevant to our probe. We have no limitation as to who we are going to summon. We want to get to the root of the case. The panel had agreed that a letter be dispatched to the military authorities,” the source said.

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Contacted for his response to the alleged invitation, Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Olaniyi Osoba, said the state government and not a member of a panel can invite it.

He emphasised that the Army only intervened at the Lekki Toll Gate because the state government specifically requested its involvement and would only appear before the panel if so directed by the state government.

“If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?

“It is not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the (81) Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.

“It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state and not members of the panel,” the spokesman said.

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