A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), has faulted the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry by the various state governors in the aftermath of the recent #EndSARS protests.
Agabi, who served as the AGF during the first term of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, said the executive arm of government lacked the power to set up any body and describe it as “judicial”.
He spoke at the 3rd Annual Nigerian Criminal Law Review Conference organised by the Rule of Law Development Foundation in Abuja.
Agabi said, “I think this misconception arises from the old Commissions of Inquiry Act left behind by the British at independence. Let me just say very briefly that the executive cannot set up a body and describe it as judicial. It has no judicial powers. And if it goes to the extent of inducting anybody at all, many decisions of our courts have set aside those decisions.
“An executive body cannot indict. The power to induct is judicial and it is vested by the Constitution.”
Also speaking, the NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata, expressed concern over the spate of orders being issued “ex parte” by courts against those linked to the recent #EndSARS protests.
Akpata noted that although the cases were sub judice, “The governing rule has been, if you have to explain again and again to the layman, then it is never a good law.”
He expressed worry that ordinary Nigerians had been made to face “frustration with the whole system of justice administration.”
He added that the invasion and looting of courts in Lagos and other places during the recent protests was a manifestation of the lack of faith by ordinary Nigerians in the justice sector which said they believed only serves the privileged elite.