The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has tagged the Lagos State EndSARS panel as “illegal”.
Keyamo further argued that investigating Federal Government institutions and officers of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Army was outside of their jurisdiction.
This was mentioned by the minister during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
At least nine people were killed on October 20, 2020, when military and policemen attacked the Lekki tollgate to disperse #EndSARS demonstrations, according to the panel’s report, which called the incident a “massacre in context.”
He said, “I will not answer this question as a sitting minister. I will answer this question as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria – a member of the Inner Bar, and so I am entitled to my opinion. This is not the Federal Government’s position. From me, that panel was an illegal panel. It was totally illegal.
“All lawyers who are listening to me should go back and read the Tribunals of Enquiry Act of Lagos State. It says that the governor will have the powers to inquire into the conduct of any person – underline any person – and chieftaincy matters and any other matter that will promote the good of the public.
“However, ‘any person’ there was defined in Section 21 to mean public officers of the state. It is defined to mean somebody within the public service of Lagos State or of the local government as the case may be.
“Then, the phrase was used at the end of Section 1 that says ‘any matter’…that they can inquire into any matter. People now think that to inquire into any matter, it means that you can just be at large.
“However, if you look at Section 21 again, it says that it has to be within the legislative competence of Lagos State. In other words, it is only people over whom the Lagos State has control that they can inquire into their conduct. If you don’t have control over me, you cannot inquire into my conduct.