A member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry, Ebun Adegboruwa, said on Thursday no law empowers Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to overrule the panel’s report on the #ENDSARS protest.
The state government had on Tuesday released the White Paper on the panel’s recommendations on the shooting of the protesters by the military at the Lekki toll gate in October last year and the protest as a whole.
In the document, the government accepted 11 out of the recommendations, modified six and rejected one outrightly.
However, in a statement titled: “Comments On LASG White Papers On ENDSARS Panel Reports,” Adegboruwa argued that no provision exists for the issuance of a White Paper under the law setting up the panel.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria condemned the government’s White Paper, stressing “that by virtue of Section 15 of the Tribunal of Inquiry Law, upon conclusion of any inquiry, the governor is only empowered to issue a directive for the enforcement of any decision emanating from the inquiry.”
He said: “The governor cannot issue a White Paper to overrule the decisions of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry. There is no provision in the Tribunals of Inquiry Law of Lagos State which permits the Governor to overrule decisions of the Panel conducted through open hearing.
“As stated earlier, the decisions of the Panel were self-executory and compensations were paid to victims upon the success of any Petition.
“It is improper for LASG to pick and choose which decision of the Panel it would comply with, on the alleged ground that the soldiers/officers involved are outside its statutory control, whereas the same LASG conveniently paid compensations awarded in respect of police brutality and the police are similarly outside its statutory control.”
The lawyer expressed his displeasure that the government issued a White Paper and “overlooked critical evidence that the panel considered,” saying the “government misrepresented the findings and recommendations of the panel in many areas to suit its narrative.”
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