Legal Practitioner, Mr. Kunle Afolabi, Esq has shared his thoughts concerning the inclusion of Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN in Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry & Restitution, noting that being a victim of Police brutality himself, the outcome of the inquiry might be seen to unfair.
He stated this in a statement which was made available to TheNigeriaLawyer, titled “SHOULD MR. EBUN-OLU ADEGBORUWA SAN CONTINUE TO SIT AS A PANELLIST ON THE JUDICIAL PANEL OF INQUIRY OVER POLICE BRUTALITY WHEN HE HIMSELF WAS ALLEGEDLY A VICTIM OF POLICE BRUTALITY?”
“The Learned Silk Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN is highly respected as an astute human rights advocate and a defender of justice in our country Nigeria. He is without doubt one of the few Senior Advocates Nigerians can reliably call upon whenever issues of human right abuse in any form and in any part of Nigeria arises”, he said.
Meanwhile, he noted that the learned silk is eminently qualified to be part of the Panel but in view of his experience with the Police, his inclusion should be reconsidered.
“While his recent selection and appointment to sit as a panelist on the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to inquire into the alleged police brutalities in the state is desirable particularly looking at his competence and track records, it is, however, to be reconsidered in terms of fairness and non-appearance of bias. It is on records that Mr. Adegboruwa SAN himself has been the victim of police brutality in this country, as a matter of fact, Mr. Adegboruwa himself on several occasions on national televisions ascribed to his unholy experience in the hands of the police in the past. Even in his recent appearance on Channels Television station following the condemnable Lekki Plaza massacre by the army, Mr. Adegboruwa SAN yet reminded Nigerians of his own experience of police brutality following the aftermath of the June 12 1993 election annulment.”
“The question then is, will Mr. Adegboruwas SAN listen to an alleged victim of police brutality who gives similar details of his or her ordeals in the hand of the police and not evaluate such evidence with a biased mind? Even if Mr. Adegboruwa SAN is able to evaluate the evidence without bias, will the alleged police officer and the ordinary members of the public who knows and recalls that Mr. Adegboruwa SAN was in the victim’s shoes few years ago see his decision as fair and without element baize?”, he asked.
However, he stated that in order not to leave a perceived gap in the outcome of the Inquiry, it is better to select people without experience of Police brutality.
“Rather than allowing culpable errant police officers to explore foreseeable loopholes that the panel is anything but independent due to Mr. Adegboruwa SAN’s inclusion on the panel, I believe we can select people who do not have any publically known negative experience in the hands of the Nigeria Police”, he said.
“Again, I personally believe that Mr. Adegboruwa SAN is more than qualify to be appointed as a member of any judicial panel of inquiry in Nigeria but where his inclusion have tendencies of appearing to neutral minds that he might be sway one side due to his personal encounter with any particular stakeholder before the panel, then I think we should on that ground reconsider his inclusion”, he concluded.