EndSARS: Lagos govt, judicial panel drag to court over Lekki shooting - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

EndSARS: Lagos govt, judicial panel drag to court over Lekki shooting

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By Olubiyi Obasa



Some Nigerians identified as Adekunle Augustine, Semion Akogwu has dragged the Lagos State government and the judicial panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS related abuses in Lagos state and lekki tollgate incident before the Lagos state High Court.

Augustine and Akogwu in a suit instituted by their Counsel, Samuel Adama is praying the court to disband the panel on grounds that the Lagos state governor being a party in the matter cannot set up a panel to investigate itself hence the outcome of the panel will be in favour of the state.

Apart from the judicial panel of inquiry, other defendants in the suit are, the Governor Of Lagos State, the Chairman of the panel and the Attorney-General of the state who are 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.

The plaintiffs in suit number FHC/L/CS/1572/20 dated November 11,2020 seek the following declaration:  

*whether  having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 2nd Defendant being an Agent/Appointee  of the 1st Defendant can ensure fair hearing for the Plaintiffs under the auspices of the 3rd Defendant in a mater in which the 1st Defendant is a party?

*WHETHER having regards to section 5(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant validly exercised his powers in public interest by setting up the 3rd Defendant to investigate a matter in which the 1st Defendant himself is a party?

*WHETHER having regards to Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant is a party to be investigated under the terms of reference for the 3rd Defendant in the discharge of its mandate?

*WHETHER the 4th Defendant being the Chief law officer of the State ought to act in public interest by advising the 1st Defendant against the setting up of the 3rd Defendant and ought to do all things legally possible to ensure fair hearing in the matter?

Upon the determination of the questions, the plaintiffs also prayed the court for the following reliefs:

*A DECLARATION that having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) together with Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 2nd Defendant being an Agent/Appointee of the 1st Defendant cannot ensure fair hearing for the Plaintiffs under the auspices of the 3rd Defendant in a matter in which the 1st Defendant is a party.

*A DECLARATION that having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Fepublic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) together with Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant, being a party in the matter, did not exercise his power in public interest by setting up the 3rd Defendant.
 
*A DECLARATION that the appointment of the 2nd Defendant and the setting up of the 3rd Defendant by the 1st Defendant is tantamount to making the 1st Defendant a Judge in his own cause and ipso facto breaches the Plaintiffs rights to fair hearing.

*AN ORDER of this Honourable Court disbanding the 3rd Defendant and nullifying its proceedings and whatsoever actions taken thereby so far to give way for a credible and independent commission of inquiry to be set up by the Federal Government to take over the mandate of the 3rd Defendant as contemplated by its establishment abi nitio.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter.