Femi Falana (SAN), a former President of the West Africa Bar Association (WABA), has said that Lagos State possess the constitutional and legal powers to set up a judicial panel of inquiry on any issue, just as he tackled the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) for rubbishing the EndSARS Panel set up by the State Government.
Speaking recently at the Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference 2021, the legal luminary told Nigerians not to be confused by Keyamo’s remarks.
“Nigeria is governed by law. The Lagos State government sets up a judicial inquiry, it was not an inquiry set up on the directive of the federal government. When you say that, you insult the state, which is a sovereign within the federation,” Falana said.
While referencing previous cases of a judicial panel of inquiry in the country set up by the federal and state governments, he said murder is a state offence in the constitution and not a federal offence.
“When someone now says that the panel in Lagos is illegal because it has investigated federal officers, with profound respect, he is not talking law. That is not the law.”
Falana added: “The Lagos panel relied solely on documentary evidence from the officials of the government. In fact, exhibit A, the first document tendered before the panel was produced by the LCC which captured the events of October 20, 2020, but the camera was later disabled.
“Few weeks ago, President Buhari told the US Secretary of State that he is waiting for the reports from the state governors and he will implement them, but our friend said on Sunday on Television that he is speaking on his behalf and not as a minister. You cannot draw a dichotomy between your private views and the views of the government that you are part of.”