Senior lawyer and member of Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution (LSJPIR), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has faulted the South West governors and ministers’ inspection tour to the Lekki Tollgate plaza, scene of military attack on EndSARS protesters in the state.
The panel was recently set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to look into the grievances of victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) related abuses and Lekki Toll Gate incident.
Adegboruwa who is a member of the panel in a statement , yesterday, queried Governor Sanwolu for leading his counterparts and ministers from the region to the scene for inspection without approval or notifying the panel already inaugurated .
He frowned at the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola’s action of removing a hidden camera from the scene that was under investigation by the panel.
According to him, the visit and Fashola’s action, amounts to an act to distort facts and jeopardize the panel’s assignment.
Adegboruwa’s statement read: “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 Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, 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.
“I call on all Nigerians to come up with their complaints before the panel for proper ventilation, as it begins its sitting today.”