Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has faulted the judicial panel of inquiry set up to investigate cases of police brutality and SARS-related abuses across the country.
Responding to a question about the position of the government specifically regarding a leaked report by the Lagos judicial panel, the human rights lawyer described the panel as illegal.
“I will not answer this question as a sitting minister,” he said on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics. “I will answer this question as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and so, I am entitled to my own opinion. This is not the Federal Government’s position.
“For me, that panel was an illegal panel”.
His comments come days after the leaked report by the panel indicted the operatives of the Nigerian Army and Police, saying they indeed shot at unarmed protesters.
While the report has yet to be officially released, days later, the panel submitted its findings to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
One of the reports was on claims of police brutality while the other was on the shooting in the Lekki area of Lagos State on October 20, 2020.
The Nigerian army had, however, denied shooting live rounds at protesters, telling the judicial panel that only blanks were used.
As part of efforts to further get to the root of the matter, Governor Sanwo-Olu on Monday, set up a four-member committee led by Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) to raise a White Paper on the reports submitted by the judicial panel.
Keyamo’s comments come two days before the committee is expected to submit its recommendations to the National Economic Council, NEC, for discussion and possible implementation.