Lekki: Two Senior Army Officers Shun EndSARS Judicial Panel

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File photo: Nigerian Army personnel

By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos

Two senior military officers, Major General Umelo and Colonel Bello on Saturday failed to appear before the Lagos State Judicial panel probing the Lekki Shooting of October 20.

According to Jonathan Ogunsanya, counsel to the panel, Bello, rejected service of his summon.

Ogunsanya, however, said Major-General Umelo was served his summon on 30 November but failed to appear before the panel today.

Col. Bello, allegedly was said to have given the order that soldiers fire blank ammunition into the air when soldiers attacked #EndSars protesters at the Lekki toll gate.

Ogunsanya stated that counsel for the Nigerian Army, A. T. Kehinde (SAN), has intervened and accepted the summon on behalf of his clients.

Counsel to #EndSars protesters, Adeshina Ogunlana, said the military is supposed to be under civilian control.

Ogunlana said the supremacy of the law should prevail and urged the panel to use the supreme power of the law and issue a warning along with a new summon to the Nigerian Army.

Justice Doris Okuwobi adjourned the hearing until 8 January 2021.

She ruled that Col. Bello should be served his summon through A. T. Kehinde (SAN), counsel to the Nigerian Army.

She also ruled that Major-General Umelo be served a fresh summon.

Also, the Cable News Network, Inc.(CNN) has objected to a Witness Summons by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution of Victims of SARS Related Abuses for its Team of Reporters to appear before it today, December 12, to give evidence on their reportage of the #EndSARS Lekki shooting.

The international news outfit said the Panel lacks jurisdiction to summon its staff since they are not in Nigeria.

CNN’s Lawyers, Messrs. Olumide Babalola LP, filed the objection dated 4th December 2020 at the Tribunal on December 9, 2020.

According to Babalola, the panel invited him into its Private Hearing Room this morning and subsequently excused CNN from further proceedings or appearing before the Panel.

CNN’s invitation followed its two-part report which claimed that soldiers shot at and killed peaceful #EndSARS protesters on the night of October 20 at the Lekki Toll Gate.

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