The Nigerian Army has withdrawn from the Lagos State judicial panel set up to investigate the October 20 Lekki toll gate incident involving soldiers and #EndSARS protesters.
A member of army counsel to the panel S.N. Agwhe made the development known to the judicial panel on Saturday.
Agwhe had appeared before the panel on behalf of the army legal team, but revealed that the job of the army counsel finished on November 21.
“We do not have any further mandate to represent the army in any subsequent proceedings,” Agwhe said.
He reminded the panel that the head of the army legal team Akinlolu Kehinde had earlier submitted a memo notifying the panel of the decision.
The last hearing on January 23 was the third time in a row that the army and its counsel failed to appear before the panel.
The panel chairman Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge, however, warned that the army would not claim denial of fair hearing when the panel submits its findings to the government.
The army’s withdrawal from the panel follows the testimony by Reddington Hospital that it treated victims from the #EndSARS protest with bullet wounds on October 20, 21, and 22.
Petitioners had alleged that soldiers opened fire at peaceful protesters, killing and injuring several protesters.
Meanwhile, the army had reluctantly admitted being at the scene of the Lekki shooting after initial denials.
The army however claims that officers were sent out to enforce a curfew that was imposed by the Lagos State Government but did not open fire on protesters.