Counsel to the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), on Friday told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the Lekki Tollgate shooting that #EndSARS protesters were a body not recognised by law.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Owonikoko made the submission after Adesina Ogunlana announced his appearance to the panel as the counsel representing the EndSARS protesters.
Ogunlana had informed the panel that he would be cross-examining Abayomi Omomuwasan, the Managing Director of Lekki Concession Company.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Omomuwasan was appearing before the panel to testify on the October 20 shooting of #EndSARS protesters by members of the Nigerian military at the Lekki tollgate.
Owonikoko said: “To the best of my knowledge, there is nobody called #EndSARS protesters and we know that a lawyer must adjudicate based on instruction.
“My learned friend is entitled to representing anyone recognised before the law.
“We must know the persons the counsel is representing.
“We cannot have anyone appearing for a body without any structure.
“The Nigerian Bar Association, for instance, is a known public body with known structure.”
The LCC Counsel, Rotimi Seriki, also aligned himself with Owonikoko’s submission.
Seriki said: “He must represent a body known to law.
“The witness (LCC MD) appeared before the tribunal because they have evidence that would be of interest to the panel.
“We cannot allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to cross-examine the witness.”
Responding, Ogunlana said he was not a Tom, Dick or Harry, adding that he received his instruction from #EndSARS protesters, some of whom were present during proceedings.
He said: “He (Seriki) is not in a position to describe my clients or leadership.
“It is because of #EndSARS protesters that we are here.
“It is because of the #EndSARS protesters that this panel was created.
“My lord, did counsel not say a few days back that this is not a regular court but a fact-finding body.
“I’m not representing spirits.
“I’m representing actual persons.”
Following his submission, Ogunlana presented three #EndSARS protesters: Victoria Oniru, Dabira Ayuku and Perpetua Kamsichukwu, as his clients.
Reacting, Owonikoko, however, said: “These are decent people.
“I withdraw my objection.”
The LCC counsel also withdrew his objection following the presentation of the #EndSARS protesters before the panel.