Lagos govt’s reaction to Lekki tollgate findings shocking – Panel member, Adegboruwa
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a member of Lagos Judicial Panel for SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, says the state government’s reaction to the report is “shocking”.
Last week, the chairman, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, submitted findings and recommendations to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
In a piece on Tuesday, Adegboruwa touched on some aspects of the panel he believes can be beneficial to the judiciary and Nigeria.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) suggests that the commission be used as a reference for the justice system, calling for an end to lobbying in the appointment of judicial officers.
The lawyer commended Sanwo-Olu for assembling men and women of integrity, many of whom he never met including Justice Okuwobi.
“The Chairperson is a no-nonsense and fearless judicial officer, who had demonstrated rare integrity on the Bench before she retired honourably.
“She recorded all proceedings of the Panel in longhand and had her own personal record and files for every petition.
“The other Panel members were people with vast experiences in human rights, civil society organisations, criminology and indeed general law enforcement mechanisms,” he said.
“There were no preconceived notions or ideas but rather superiority of intellectual arguments based on rational convictions.”
He said if judges can be appointed without recourse to tribe or religion, they will perform better than the current trend where sometimes, monarchs, politicians and moneybags determine who goes to the Bench.
Adegboruwa noted that the honest answers to questions about the panel’s report are largely in the public domain when properly examined, devoid of emotions and politics.
The SAN condemned “distractions of supposed discrepancies or missing links that are being concocted”, even when certified true copies of proceedings the Lekki investigation are available.
“Give it to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for keeping his vow not to interfere in the operations of the EndSARS Panel.
“At least for me (and I believe this goes for other members), not once was I approached to determine any petition in any particular way and no overtures were made.”
Adegboruwa said though the panel functioned under the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), never tried to influence the decisions.
“Even when the Panel had cause to approach him on some administrative issues, he would maintain the stance of the government that it is an independent Panel. Such was the latitude.
“This is why the response of the same government to the outcome of the Panel’s activities is rather shocking.
“If ever the government had a preconceived idea of what happened at the Lekki Toll Gate, this was not disclosed to us at all.”
The legal practitioner stated that the members proceeded upon the premise that they were free to dig out the truth and nothing but the truth.
“If judicial officers are given free hand to operate without undue interference, justice will come back to our land, impunity will cease and everyone will fall in line”, he added.
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