The Nigerian Army has again failed to appear before the Lagos state judicial panel on ”#EndSARS”.
The panel was set up to investigate allegations of police brutality and the incident of October 20, 2020 where soldiers opened fire on protesters at the Lekki tollgate.
The army was expected to appear on Saturday to respond to some petitions brought before the panel.
Doris Okuwobi, chairperson of the panel, said petitions against the army will be heard, despite its absence.
For Saturday’s hearing, the army was listed in six out of nine petitions scheduled for the day.
When the army was called for the first petition, its officers or legal representatives were not present.
As a result, the panel called the next petition for the day.
While the next petition was being heard, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, counsel for some #EndSARS protesters, raised an observation that he appeared before the panel to present a witness to counter the evidence presented by the army the last time its officer showed up.
Responding, Doris Okuwobi, chairperson of the panel, said it is on the record that the army did not appear before the panel, and that all cases involving the security agency will be heard in absentia.
“They (referring to the Nigerian Army) are not here, that is what is on record,” she said.
“We have said in the last meeting that cases that are involving the Nigerian Army will be taken, whether they are here or not.”
The counsel said he will need a date to present his witness who will counter the evidence of the army, adding that he does not want the identity of his witness to be disclosed yet.
The panel chairperson adjourned the hearing till March 20 to enable Olumide-Fusika to present his witness.