Metro & Crime

Lekki shooting: Sanwo-Olu, others sued over panel’s composition

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been dragged before a Federal High Court in Lagos over the composition of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality and alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers in Lekki.
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1572/20, the plaintiffs, Adekunle Augustine and Semion Akogwu, argued that as a party in the matter, the Lagos State governor did not exercise his power in public interest by setting up the panel.
The Chairman of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and the Attorney General of Lagos State were joined as co-respondents in the suit.
In an affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by one of the plaintiffs, Adekunle Augustine, it was averred that: “On the 20th of October, 2020, the governor caused the deployment of troops to Lekki Tollgate, where a large number of youths were gathered in peaceful protest against police brutality; and the troops fired several artillery weapons at the scene leading to various degrees of bodily injuries and alleged death of several people.
“The governor admitted that he authorized the deployment of troops to Lekki Tollgate on that 20th October, 2020, to stop the peaceful protest which by extension occasioned the use of artillery weapons by the soldiers at the scene, leading to some life threatening injuries, grievous hurt and alleged death of many of the protesters.
”The governor thereafter set up the panel consisting of 20 members for the purpose of investigating the Lekki Tollgate military invasion and other matters thereto and to make recommendations to him on their findings. The governor constituted the panel and appointed all the members thereof at his pleasure.”
The plaintiffs are thereafter seeking court’s determination of the following questions among others:
“Whether having regards to Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the 2nd respondent (Panel chairman) being an agent/appointee of the 1st respondent (Governor) can ensure fair hearing for the plaintiffs under the auspices of the 3rd respondent (Judicial Panel) in a mater in which the 1st respondent (Governor) is a party?
“Whether having regards to Section 5(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the 1st respondent validly exercised his powers in public interest by setting up the 3rd respondent to investigate a matter in which the 1st respondent himself is a party?
“Whether the 4th respondent (Lagos AG) being the Chief law officer of the State ought to act in public interest by advising the 1st respondent against the setting up of the 3rd respondent and ought to do all things legally possible to ensure fair hearing in the matter?”.

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