The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday inaugurated a five-man Tribunal of Enquiry to investigate the civil unrest in Ibeju-Lekki area of the state on October 12, which led to the gruesome murder of the Managing Director of Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, Alhaji Tajudeen Disu.
Disu was reportedly killed while resolving a land dispute between members of Okunraye Community and some private companies embarking on various massive projects within the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
Ambode, at the inauguration of the Tribunal, said as a responsive and responsible government, it had become necessary for his administration to set up a Tribunal to investigate the remote cause(s) of the unrest with the view to forestalling future re-occurrence.
He said the unrest, if not properly managed and addressed, could lead to total breakdown of law and order, adding that the government was desirous of protecting the lives and property of the citizens.
The Governor added that as a responsible government determined to enforce the rule of law, it is his duty to take firm and purposeful steps to inquire into the origin, factors and circumstances leading to the disturbances at the LFTZ in order to forestall a re-occurrence.
According to him: “At a time when this government is attracting a lot of foreign direct investments and opening up the economy of our State, we cannot afford to have such disturbances. We will not tolerate any violent acts which disturb the security of lives and property in the State.
“Having sought advice from the Attorney-General of the State, a Tribunal of Inquiry has been constituted to investigate the remote and immediate causes of this incident and other recommendations therein.”
Earlier, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, said in exercise of the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 1 of the Tribunal of Inquiry Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2003, and considering the recent civil disturbances at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, it has become necessary to constitute a panel of enquiry to investigate the unrest.
The terms of reference of the Tribunal, according to Kazeem, include: “To find the remote causes of the disturbance; to inquire into all incidental matters that might have led to the event; to collect memoranda from individuals stakeholders from various communities and all interested members of the public on the issue; to invite members of the public, stakeholders and all interested members of the public to give evidence leading to the disturbance; to proffer solutions to forestall the re-occurrence of such event in future; and finally, to make necessary recommendations to the government based on the findings of the Tribunal.”
Kazeem also disclosed that the Tribunal has 45 days to submit its report and that further days might be added subject to the approval of the Governor.
The Tribunal, which is made up of distinguished Nigerians, has retired Lagos State High Court Judge, Hon. Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, as Chairman.
The members are Otunba Tunde Seriki, senior legal practitioner; Otunba Yemi Lawal, property developer; Surveyor Fuad Kassim, former Surveyor General of the Federation; and Hon, Rafeequat Onabamiro, former member of House of Representatives representing Badagry Federal Constituency.
A Chief State Counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Adebayo Haroun, is to serve as the Secretary of the Tribunal.
Responding on behalf of members of the Tribunal, Justice Olateru-Olagbegi thanked Governor Ambode for the opportunity given to members of the Tribunal to serve the state.
He promised that the members would work diligently and conscientiously to justify the confidence reposed in them.
While congratulating Ambode on his victory at the Supreme Court, which affirmed his election, Olateru-Olagbegi said based on the antecedents of the Governor, he was sure that the state was in best hands.