A summon by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution of Victims of SARS Related Abuses extended to The Cable News Network (CNN) to appear before it today, December 12, to give evidence on their reportage of the #EndSARS Lekki shooting has been rejected.
The CNN stated that the judicial commission lacks jurisdiction to summon its reporters to appear before it since they are not based in Nigeria.
CNN’s Lawyers, Messrs. Olumide Babalola LP, filed the objection dated 4th December 2020 at the Tribunal on December 9, 2020, in a letter seen by The Nation.
Babalola said: “Since the Objectors are not “persons in Nigeria” as envisaged by the provision of section 5(c) (of Tribunals Of Inquiry Law Of Lagos State, Cap. T6), then this Honourable Tribunal is, with respect, bereft of territorial jurisdiction to compel their attendance to give evidence before it.”
“We rely on the decision in Joshua Dariye v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2015) LPELR-24398(SC), where the Supreme Court of Nigeria held that: Territorial jurisdiction implies a geographical area within which the authority of the court may be exercised and outside which the Court has no power to act.”
He also urged the panel to withdraw the summons issued on his clients and to instead, watch the CNN report on the Lekki shootings.
According to Babalola, the panel invited him into its Private Hearing Room this morning and subsequently excused CNN from further proceedings or appearing before the Panel.
Recall that CNN had, in a two-part report backed with pictures and video clips, implicated the Nigerian Army in the alleged killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate.
The American-based network also rubbished claims by the Nigerian Army fired blank bullets at EndSARS protesters.
The CNN in its reports report revealed that the Army fired live ammunition purchased from Serbia.