EndSARS report: Panel member, Adegboruwa, raises alarm over threat to life

Member of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry (JPI) on the October 20, 2020 EndSARS protests, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN, has raised the alarm over a threat to his life in the aftermath of the submission of the final report of his committee.

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN

This is also as the lawyer asked Nigerians to hold the government responsible for any harm to his life, as he also pointed out some state government functionaries who he alleged to be behind the latest threat.

In a personally signed statement made available, Monday, Adegboruwa, while disclosing of physical bodily injuries suffered by a witness who testified against the government during the panel’s sitting, said he has been subjected to various forms of abuses since the panel submitted its report which indicted government and state agencies of complicity in the murder and injuries to unarmed peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate area of Lagos, on October 20, 2020.

The Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry (JPI) on the EndSARS protests submitted its report to the State Government, in which it clearly established that the Nigerian Army fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, last year.

The panel chaired by Justice Doris Okuwobi submitted two reports of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters to Governor  Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

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The two reports submitted by the Panel to Lagos State Government are on investigation on petitions on several abuses and killings by the Nigerian Police, especially the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the October 20, 2020 Lekki Toll Gate shootings during the EndSARS protests hijacked by hoodlums.

The panel was inaugurated on October 19, 2020, to look into complaints of citizens against human rights abuses by the police, on the heels of the outrage that trailed the shooting of peaceful protesters who had converged on the Lekki Toll Gate to protest highhanded and professional misconduct of security operatives attached to the now-disbanded Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) Unit of the Nigeria Police.

Terms of Reference of the Panel was subsequently expanded to cover that Lekki shooting incident.

The Panel sat for well over one year and took testimonies of petitioners, witnesses, experts and lawyers.

The panel listed 48 names as casualties of the incident.

According to the report, 9 protesters were confirmed dead, while four were presumed dead, even as about 20 sustained gunshot injuries, while 13 others were assaulted by the military.

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“Since the submission of the report of the Lagos #EndSARS Panel, there have been lots of threats and attacks, by those suspected to be agents of the government, upon me, especially in the media.

“I have not committed any crime beyond joining other eminent Nigerians with unblemished integrity, to accept the nomination of government on behalf of my constituency, the Nigerian Bar Association and the civil society and the indeed the masses of our people, for a national assignment.

“Two prominent lawyers of the government have openly incited opinions against me on national television, with mindless accusations.

“I have however refused to be intimidated or bend to the tactics of government to be silenced.

“I urge the good people of Nigeria, my professional colleagues in the Nigerian Bar Association, my comrades in the civil rights movement and the people of Nigeria, to hold government responsible should anything happen to me.

“Just last night, one of the prominent EndSARS protesters who testified before the Panel, Miss Kamsiyochukwu Ibe, was attacked and dealt serous machete blows, in what was clearly an attempted murder, as reported by her counsel, with very disturbing  photos.

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“I heeded the clarion call to serve by the government with the honest believe that the Panel was meant to say the truth and nothing but the truth, which is what we have done. It is left for government and Nigerians to do the needful with the report of the Panel,” said Adegboruwa.

It would be recalled last week, Adegboruwa, threatened to make the outcome of the report public if the Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu, fails to do so.

“I will however keep observing the turn of events and at the appropriate time, one may be forced to state the full contents of the report if the promises made are not fulfilled.

“I can never and will never subscribe to anything that would amount to covering up the report of the panel.

“The panel made far-reaching recommendations concerning the major actors that were found culpable, in order to achieve true healing and reconciliation.

“We have done our work in the best way that we could. Nigerians should demand justice against all culprits who have been named in detail, in our report,” said the lawyer who runs the law firm, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa & Co.

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