#EndSARS: Your plan for independent panel was to embarrass Buhari – rights activist tells Falana

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A human rights lawyer, Lucky Odigie, has dragged a constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), and nine others before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over the setting up of an independent panel to probe killings that took place during the three weeks #ENDSARS protest in October last year.

Mr Odigie said the ulterior motive of the independent panel was to embarrass and undermine the Federal Government of Nigeria, the different State governments, the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Army, all the security agencies as well as the existing panels of inquiries set up by the different state governors.

The plaintiff, in the suit filed by his lawyer, Oghenovo Otemu, asked the court to restrain the defendants from setting up any parallel independent inquiry to probe any alleged killings of Nigerians, including security operatives and the destruction of properties following the deployment of security operatives in the wake of the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.

Other defendants in the suit were Ade Atambi, Adewale Adeoye, Chino Obiagwu (SAN), Affiong Affiong, Prof. Adenike Ogushe, Y.Z Yau, Malachy Ugwumadu, Fatima Umar and Olumide Ogele.

The plaintiff in the originating summons also asked the court to determine whether, by virtue of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act Cap 447 LFN 1990 and all other extant Federal and State laws, regulations and enactments in Nigeria, the first to third defendants, under the aegis of Alliance on Surviving COVID – 19 And Beyond can validly and legally constitute or set up a parallel independent panel of inquiry to probe the #EndSARS killings.

He also asked the court to determine whether, by virtue of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act Cap 447 LFN 1990 and all other extant Federal and State laws, regulations, and enactments in Nigeria the fourth to 10 defendants can validly and legally act as members of a parallel independent panel of inquiry to probe the killings of Nigerians.

Odigie also prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from conducting any parallel independent inquiry to probe any alleged killings of Nigerians, including security operatives and the destruction of properties following the deployment of security operatives in the wake of the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.

He prayed for a declaration that by virtue of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act Cap 447 LFN 1990 and all other extant Federal and State laws, regulations and enactments in Nigeria, “ASCAB cannot validly and legally constitute or set up a parallel independent panel of inquiry to probe the killings of Nigerians, including security operatives and the destruction of properties following the deployment of security operatives in the wake of the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.”

Odigie in the affidavit in support of the originating summons, said the action of ASCAB in setting up the panel of inquiry was targeted at undermining the different panels set up by the different state governors to probe the alleged police brutalities and human rights abuses by security agents.

He said the panel of the 4th to 10th defendants were targeted at turning up a report or decision that will embarrass

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