Monday, October 25, 2021

There are plans to frustrate Lagos EndSARS panel: Adegboruwa

Condemning the adjournment of the panel, Mr Adegboruwa said he would give details later.

• September 18, 2021

Human rights activist Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa says there are plans to frustrate the EndSARS panel investigating the murder of young Nigerians by soldiers during the October 20, 2020 protest of police brutality at the Lekki toll gate.

Mr Adegboruwa, who is also a member of the panel, wrote on Facebook, “There are attempts to frustrate the EndSARS Judicial Panel from reaching meaningful conclusions on investigations into the Lekki Toll Gate incident of 20th October 2020.”

The chairman of the panel Doris Okuwobi on Saturday suspended the sitting until further notice. Citing reasons for the suspension, she said two reports that needs working on were pending.

“We cannot continue with the sitting and end the assignment without concluding. So, we will not be sitting from today,” Mrs Okuwobi said.

She explained that the panel needed to collate and evaluate already heard petitions to make findings, including the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate. 

“Please bear with us, we cannot speculate on any further extension. We have to work towards completing the assignment as early as we can.

“This is without any prejudice to us coming back to conclude on part-heard cases. Dates will be communicated to petitioners who have petitions pending,” Mrs Okuwobi added.

Following a submission by the lead counsel to the Lagos state government, Abiodun Owonikoko, the chairman said it would be impossible to take two expert witnesses into account due to the timeframe.

When the panel returned after a short break, the chairman responded, saying, “on the application, the quality of the witnesses we envisage will slow the panel down… We only have 27 working days to the end of this assignment. 

“It will be highly impossible and impracticable to take the two witnesses, and it is the panel’s greatest concern that we get our report ready for the terminal date of this assignment,” she said.

Condemning the adjournment of the panel, Mr Adegboruwa said he would give details later.

The panel had first suspended its sitting after the withdrawal of youth representatives from the exercise and resumed in December 2020.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in July added additional three months to the sitting, which is expected to conclude hearings on October 19.

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