A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has condemned the leakage of the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.
It will be recalled that the judicial panel led by Justice Doris Okuwobi on Monday submitted its report to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, disclosing that not less than eleven people were killed at the Lekki tollgate incident.
The report added that at least 48 protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullet wounds, or assaulted by soldiers.
But in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday, Falana said the leaked version of the report could jeopardize the thorough work done by the panel.
The human rights activist, however, asked the state government to only release the report after a White Paper has been raised.
He also urged the four-member committee set up by the governor to draft the paper to complete its assignment before the next two weeks.
Falana said, “A judicial commission of inquiry was set up, it has concluded its assignment and submitted the report to the government, including the recommendations. The government will have to study the report and recommendations and issue a white paper that should contain the directives of the government on each of the findings.
“So the government could not have released the report and the government should not have released the report because it has to. A committee has been set up now and that committee should have been allowed to carry out its assignment.
“It is after that committee has concluded its own assignment that the government will then release the report via a white paper.”
The senior advocate also described the panel report as one of the best ever produced by a judicial commission of inquiry in Nigeria.
He added: “The panel gave everybody fair hearing, bent over backward to accommodate those who should have been sent packing, did a thorough analysis of the evidence, and arrived at recommendations that tallied with the findings.
“It was a thorough-going exercise, one of the best reports ever produced by a judicial commission of inquiry in Nigeria.”