By Ezra Odogu
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, says the federal government will act on parts of the #EndSARS reports that fall within its ambit after state governments are done with procedural processes.
On November 15, the Lagos judicial panel on police brutality submitted two sets of reports — a consolidated report on police brutality and the Lekki shooting incident.
This comes a year after the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, directed state governments to establish judicial panels of inquiry across the country to investigate complaints of police brutality or extra judicial killings.
But reacting to the submission of the reports on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Monday, the president’s spokesperson said the states government are not bound by law to submit their reports to the federal government.
Adesina, who disclosed the federal government does not have power to give directives to the subnationals on the formulation of the judicial panels, said that the federal government will only handle the parts that of the reports that are of national interest.
On the #EndSARS Lekki toll gate incident, Adesina said it would be contrary to the country’s law if the federal government looks into it, noting that it is the duty of the Lagos government, which the state is already doing.
“Under the law, the federal government has no power to empanel a probe into anything happening in the states,” he said.
“What would happen is that when the states come up with pronouncements on that panel report, that would then be of interest to the federal government.
“It is not as if the states would bring it to the federal government. I’m not quite sure if any states have submitted a report to the federal government but I know that areas that would affect the federal government, it will handle that.
“The federal government does not have the power to give a directive to the state governments on the formulation of the judicial panel of enquiries.
“There are some things that would be federal in nature, the federal will tackle that, there are things that are state in nature, the state governments will look into that. There is an attorney-general of the federation who would advice and the needful will be done.
“It would be contrary to the variant of the law if the FG is looking into the Lekki EndSARS incident, it is the duty of the Lagos state government and it is doing that. And eventually the part of the report that affects the federal will be handled.
“When I said submission, what I meant was states handling over the reports to the federal government and saying ‘please act on everything’ that would not be correct. States would act on areas that pertain to them while the federal government would act on areas that pertain to it.”