A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and member of the the Lagos panel on police brutality, Mr Ebun-Oluwa Adegboruwa, has warned that he may be forced to divulge the contents of the report the panel submitted to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu if it is coverd up or tampered with.
The panel led by Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi submitted its report to Sanwo-Olu at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday.
But in a press release, Adegboruwa, a prominent human rights lawyer, said: “At the presentation ceremony today, the Governor promised two things: To set up a Four-Man Committee led by the Honourable Attorney-General to prepare a White Paper for the purpose of implementing the findings and recommendations expressed in the report and to give it legal backing; and to send the report to the National Economic Council for implementation.
“It is my view that Lagos State having appeared before the Panel as a party, having tendered documents before the Panel and led witnesses to take a position on the Incident of the Lekki Toll Gate, it will be unfair and improper for Lagos State to be a judge in its own cause, by seeking to review the report of the Panel. However, the Governor explained to me that this would only be done to enable the government implement the findings and recommendations of the Panel and not to tamper with it or mutilate it. I believe His Excellency.
“I will however keep observing the turn of events and at the appropriate time, one may be forced to state the FULL contents of the report if the promises made are not fulfilled.
“I can never and will never subscribe to anything that would amount to covering up the report of the panel.
“We have done our work in the best way that we could. Nigerians should demand for justice against all culprits who have been named in detail, in our report.”
Adegboruwa, however, affirmed that the Lagos State Governor did not interfere with the operations of the panel.
“The Panel sat for well over one year, listening to testimonies of petitioners, their witnesses, experts and lawyers. The Panel divided its assignment and report into two principal segments to cover general cases of police abuses and the special case of the Lekki Toll Gate Incident.
“Compensation was paid to deserving cases of police abuses while a special case was made for victims of the Lekki Toll Gate Incident of October 20, 2020.
“True to his word, the Governor of Lagos State granted total independence to the Panel, as we worked according to our conscience and based upon our common convictions.
“Specifically for the Lekki Toll Gate Investigation, we set up certain crucial issues for determination, as to whether:
“There was any protest at the Lekki Toll Gate, the nature of the protest, the presence and mission of soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate, whether blank or live bullets were shot by the soldiers, whether there was any death and if so, the numbers involved, whether there was any massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, and if so, what evidence is available in proof thereof, whether the police were at the Lekki Toll Gate and if so, whether they shot and killed the protesters, etc.
“The Panel answered these questions truthfully, frankly and courageously, based on the evidence led before it, believing that the crimes against humanity that took place at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, would never happen again in our nation”, he said.