Two senior lawyers blast Buhari’s minister for calling #EndSARS panels illegal


A member of the Lagos #EndSARS panel of enquiry, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), and a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Vice-President Monday Ubani, have slammed the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), for saying such panels were illegal.

Some states set up panels of enquiry which probed police brutality; Lagos State set up the one that investigated the Lekki Tollgate shootings on October 20, 2020.

Keyamo, who spoke on a Channels Television programme: “Sunday Politics”, questioned the legality of the panels, saying he spoke as a lawyer and not a minister.

But Adegboruwa, who reacted yesterday to Keyamo’s assertion in a statement, titled: The Legality of #EndSARS Panels, said: “The Federal Government recently muted the idea that all the Judicial Panels of Enquiry set up by the various states across the federation, especially that of Lagos State, are illegal.

“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…”

Ubani expressed misgivings about Keyamo’s statement in an article, titled: Legal Competence of Panels of Enquiry on Police.

He added: “The panels set up by the various states in the federation are constitutional, legitimate and are empowered to enquire into the various allegations of human rights violations committed by the personnel of the Nigerian Police Force as nothing in the Constitution of Nigeria precludes them from doing so with the plethora of cases and samples already cited above…”