By Innocent Orok
A human right Lawyer and member of the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry on SARS abuses , Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN has condemned the visit of the South West Governors and Ministers to the Lekki Toll Gate sit of the EndSARS protesters without taking permission from the panel .
Adegboruwa in a statement titled
“USURPATION OF POWERS OF THE PANEL OF INQUIRY ON SARS ABUSES” further kick against the removal of a hidden camera from the Lekki toll gate scene by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, saying the panel should be given free hands to do their work.
His statement reads “On Sunday, October 25, 2020, it was widely publicized that Ministers and Governors of the South-West visited the Governor of Lagos State on a sympathy tour of structures affected by the wanton looting and destruction that took place last week. In the course of their visit, they were led to the Lekki Toll Plaza, to assess the situation thereat. It was at the same Lekki Toll Plaza that the incident of alleged shooting of EndSARS protesters was said to have taken place. And based on public outcry, the Governor of Lagos State added the Lekki Toll Plaza incident to the terms of reference of the Judicial Panel that was set up.
” Since the Panel has been vested with jurisdiction over the Lekki Toll Plaza, I verily believe that it is illegal for anyone else to conduct any visit to the said Lekki Toll Plaza in the absence of and without the authority and consent of the Panel. It was reported that in the course of the visit, the former governor of Lagos State and the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, discovered a hidden camera, which he took. This is a clear case of illegally tampering with exhibits that may become useful to the Panel in the course of its assignment.
“I appeal to the Governor of Lagos State to allow the Panel the full autonomy and independence that was promised at the time of inauguration. It is contempt of the Panel for anyone to usurp the powers of the Panel in the way that has been reported. In this regard, the Panel will not shy away from summoning anyone who is alleged to be involved in any contemptuous act that may obstruct the course of justice.
” Icall on all Nigerians to come up with their complaints before the Panel for proper ventilation, as it begins its sitting today” he concludes.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide SANWO-OLU in yielding to the demands of the EndSars protesters has set up a Panel of Inquiry to investigate the various abuses by the SARS and other Police brutality in the State. Their scope of work was further extended to cover destruction sites and cost of damages that has occurred.