Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry, has insisted that all the panels set up in the different states to look into cases of brutality and extrajudicial killings committed by members of the Nigeria Police Force were properly constituted by the Federal Government.
Adegboruwa said this in a statement on Monday while reacting to comments made by another senior lawyer, Festus Keyamo, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Keyamo, who is the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, had in an interview on Sunhday described the panels of inquiry as illegal, stating that state governments lack the power to set-up panels to investigate federal employees such as personnel of the police and the Nigerian Army.
But reacting, Adegboruwa said the judicial panels were set up following the recommendation of the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council.
He added that the panels cannot be termed illegal because the findings of some of the panels did not favour the current administration.
The statement read: “The Federal Government has recently muted the idea that all the Judicial Panels of Inquiry set up by the various States across the Federation, especially that of Lagos State, are illegal.
“It has never been part of our legal system in Nigeria, for a plaintiff who approached the court in the first instance, to turn around to challenge the legality or jurisdiction of the court.
“The EndSARS Panels were set up at the behest of the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council. In the case of the Lagos Panel, the federal government, through the Nigerian Army, voluntarily submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the Panel, the federal government called witnesses, it tendered documents and it made very lengthy presentations.
“A party cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. Thus, a party who initiated a process and willingly and actively participated in that process, cannot turn around, after judgment, to plead illegality or absence of jurisdiction, simply because the outcome is unfavourable. We must strengthen our institutions to make them work.
“While we all await the White Paper from the Lagos State Government, it is important for government to build trust in the people in all its dealings and utterances.”