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Adegboruwa: It’s unfair for panel members to face attacks over Lagos #EndSARS report

Adegboruwa: It’s unfair for panel members to face attacks over Lagos #EndSARS report
November 18
22:34 2021

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says members of the Lagos state judicial panel have been victims of attacks.

On Monday, the panel submitted two documents — a consolidated report on cases of police brutality and another on the Lekki incident investigation — to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state.

Hours after submission of the report, the 309-page document appeared in the media space.

In the report, the panel had said the “killing of unarmed protesters by soldiers on October 20, 2020 could be described in the context of a ‘massacre’”.

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The report has elicited varied reactions, with some persons commending the panel and some citing errors in the document currently in circulation.

On Thursday, Abiodun Owonikoko, counsel to the Lagos state government on the panel, in an interview on Arise TV, said Adegboruwa could not have given an “objective” position on the Lekki incident owing to his absence during sittings.

Reacting to the development, Adegboruwa, in a statement, said he didn’t expect to become a “victim of unwarranted attack” because he accepted the government call to service.

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“Since the submission of the EndSARS panel report to the Governor of Lagos State on November 15, 2021, members of the panel have become subject of vicious attacks by those suspected to be agents of the government,” the statement reads.

“All manner of allegations have been heaped upon panel members, some of who have been called unprintable names. I can confirm that no member of the panel lobbied to be appointed into the panel.

“As a matter fact in my own case, His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, appealed to me to accept my appointment, which I saw as a call to national service.

“The primary reason the governor came to me then was that he wanted men and women of integrity, independent and not subject to manipulation, to be on the panel.

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“Just today, my attention has been drawn to an interview by a senior counsel to the Lagos State Government, to the effect that panel members collected bribe in the course of the assignment. It is unfair, ungodly and least expected of the government and its lawyers.

“The Lagos state government asked for two weeks to enable it release a white paper on the report submitted to it by the panel. And we have been waiting, but it would seem that the Lagos state government has now unleashed mindless propaganda upon panel members whilst at the same time asking for restraint from the general public.

“I have in my custody, certified true copies of all proceedings of the panel and all exhibits tendered before the panel in respect of the Lekki Toll Gate Investigation. I urge the government to call its agents and lawyers to order so as not to provoke aggravated responses.

“It is unfair to seek to denigrate peoples’ hard-earned reputation on account only that they accepted to render selfless service at the behest of government.

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“If the government and its agents are not restrained from attacking others, nothing stops us from defending our integrity. I should not become a victim of unwarranted attack.

“Just because I accepted to serve the government and the outcome of that assignment did not favour the expectations of the government. Suffice it to mention that I worked with men and women of unblemished integrity and I’m proud to be associated with them all.”

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