End SARS Proceedings Postponed After Youth Reps Snub Lagos Judicial Panel Sitting

“We are confronted with a situation which prevented her from coming. We do not know if the two youth representatives will eventually pull out. We do not want a situation where proceedings will go on and it is impugned that with controversy due to a lack of quorum,” Okuwobi said.

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End SARS Proceedings Postponed After Youth Snub Lagos Judicial Panel Sitting-SurgeZirc Nigeira
Lagos Judicial Panel/Photo Credit: TheCable

The absence of the two youth representatives serving in the Lagos judicial panel on the  End SARS protest on Saturday obstructed proceedings as the panel could not form a quorum.

NAN reports that A. I. Taiwo, a brigadier general, was already at the venue to give the Nigerian Army’s testimony on the alleged shooting of peaceful protesters at Lekki on October 20 but the panel failed to form a quorum. Temitope Majekodunmi and Olorunrinu Oduala, the two youth representatives on the panel, did not attend the sitting to protest the freezing of Oduala’s First Bank account by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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Oduala said her bank account was frozen on November 6 over alleged sponsorship of the #EndSARS protests. Doris Okuwobi (retired), chairperson of nine-member panel, said proceedings will not hold due to Oduala and Majekodunmi’s absence.

“We are confronted with a situation which prevented her from coming. We do not know if the two youth representatives will eventually pull out. We do not want a situation where proceedings will go on and it is impugned that with controversy due to a lack of quorum,” Okuwobi said.

Okuwobi stressed the importance of all the panel’s sitting being in accordance with the law. “In all matters, we have to wait for them to join us, without them we are handicapped,” the retired judge said.

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In reaction, Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), counsel the Nigerian Army, said the military was at the panel in response to a summons dated October 28 and asked the panel when the military should return to give evidence. Kayode Enitan (SAN), counsel for the Lagos state government, aligned with the submission of the counsel for the Nigerian military. He, however, noted the importance of a quorum.

“The issue of quorum is of utmost importance as to the competence of the panel to proceed and as to the integrity of recommendations to be made at the end of proceedings,” the LASG counsel said. “Therefore, the directive that the panel should adjourn is quite appropriate.” Okuwobi adjourned the panel’s proceedings to November 14.

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