The EndSARS panel set up by the Lagos State Government and the report it released to state government as of late have been dismissed by Festus Keyamo (SAN), the Minister of State for Labor and Employment, on Sunday.
Keyamo said it was out of the ward of the panel to explore the exercises of Federal Government foundations and authorities, for example, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.
The minister, while showing up on Sunday Politics, a current affairs program on Channels Television which our journalist observed from Abuja on Sunday, be that as it may, said he was not representing the Federal Government.
The panel had expressed in its report that something like nine people were killed on the night officers and policemen raged the Lekki tollbooth to scatter #EndSARS protesters, depicting the episode as a “massacre in context.”
Be that as it may, Keyamo was asked on Sunday for what valid reason the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), called for constitution of panels across the states to explore cases of human rights mishandles while the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, would later excuse the report by the Lagos panel.
He said, “I will not answer this question as a sitting minister. I will answer this question as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria – a member of the Inner Bar, and so I am entitled to my opinion. This is not the Federal Government’s position. From me, that panel was an illegal panel. It was totally illegal.
“All lawyers who are listening to me should go back and read the Tribunals of Enquiry Act of Lagos State. It says that the governor will have the powers to inquire into the conduct of any person – underline any person – and chieftaincy matters and any other matter that will promote the good of the public.
“However, ‘any person’ there was defined in Section 21 to mean public officers of the state. It is defined to mean somebody within the public service of Lagos State or of the local government as the case may be.
“Then, the phrase was used at the end of Section 1 that says ‘any matter’…that they can inquire into any matter. People now think that to inquire into any matter, it means that you can just be at large.
“However, if you look at Section 21 again, it says that it has to be within the legislative competence of Lagos State. In other words, it is only people over whom the Lagos State has control that they can inquire into their conduct. If you don’t have control over me, you cannot inquire into my conduct.
“Policemen, the Armed Forces, military; they are not under or officers of Lagos State, they are officers of the Federal Government. By virtue of the Constitution, it is only the Federal Government that can control the conduct of policemen and the military. Lagos State cannot be in control; they cannot legislate too, regarding police and military matters; they are on the Exclusive Legislative List.”