Two lawyers yesterday have dragged the Lagos State government before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, asking it to dissolve the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in Lagos State and Lekki Toll Gate incident. The plaintiffs in the case namely Adekunle Augustine and Simeon Akogwu, urged the court to disband the panel, because the state governor, being a party in the matter, did not exercise his power in the public interest by setting up the panel.
The plaintiffs are urging the court to make a declaration that the Lagos State Governor, being a party, cannot set up a panel to investigate itself and that if that is done, then the outcome of the panel will be in favour of the Lagos state government.
Other defendants in the suit are, the Lagos State Governor, Chairman of the panel and the Attorney-General of the state, who are 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively. The chairman of the panel is listed as the 2nd respondent in the case dated November 11, 2020 and filed at a Lagos Federal High Court with suit number FHC/L/CS/1572/20.
Augustine and Akogwu, in the suit, filed through their counsel, Barrister Samuel Adama are seeking the determination of the following questions:
Whether having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Exhibit A and Exhibit B, the 2nd Defendant being an Agent/Appointee of the 1st Defendant can ensure a fair hearing for the Plaintiffs under the auspices of the 3rd Defendant in a matter in which the 1st Defendant is a party? Whether having regards to section 5(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Exhibit A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant validly exercised his powers in the public interest by setting up the 3rd Defendant to investigate a matter in which the 1st Defendant himself is a party?
Whether having regards to Exhibit A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant is a party to be investigated under the terms of reference for the 3rd Defendant in the discharge of its mandate? Whether the 4th Defendant being the Chief law officer of the State ought to act in the public interest by advising the 1st Defendant against the setting up of the 3rd Defendant and ought to do all things legally possible to ensure fair hearing in the matter?”