Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday received a report of the five-man Tribunal of Inquiry which investigated the civil unrest in Ibeju-Lekki area of the State on October 12, 2015 that led to the death of the Managing Director of Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, Alhaji Tajudeen Disu.
Governor Ambode had on October 22, 2015, inaugurated the Tribunal chaired by a retired Lagos State High Court Judge, Hon. Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, with the mandate to inquire into the origin, factors and circumstances leading to the breach of peace, as well as make recommendations to government based on the findings.
While describing the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) as an important project to the economy of the State because of its strategic importance to the job creation drive of his administration, Governor Ambode said he was prepared to do everything to ensure its success.
The Governor therefore vowed that any issue concerning the success of the project would be treated with dispatch.
According to him: “The Report of the Tribunal has been submitted today and the State Government will give serious consideration to the recommendations of the Tribunal and take decisions to ensure that such an incident does not recur.
“Let me assure members of the public and investors alike that this Government will always uphold the Rule of Law and continue to provide a conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive,” he said.
Governor Ambode also thanked members of the Tribunal for diligently carrying out the assignment within the time frame given, and expressed hope that they would be willing and ready to serve the State in future when called upon. Earlier, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said it was noteworthy that the Tribunal had the inaugural sitting on November 16, 2015 and completed the assignment with the forty-five days given to it.
Kazeem said the civil disturbances which led to Disu’s killing in the Okunraye Community had slowed down the development of the LFTZ, and that the Tribunal was set up as part of efforts to ensure safety of lives and property, prevent recurrence and enhance the economic wellbeing of the State. In his remarks, Justice Olateru-Olagbegi said the Tribunal received a total of 22 memoranda and 33 witness statements, including those from eminent Nigerians.
He added that the Tribunal made a total of 24 recommendations which covered many issues including the question of who pulled the trigger that killed Disu, as well as the remote and immediate causes of the civil unrest. Justice Olateru-Olagbegi also said that the Tribunal recommended the measures to adopt in forestalling a recurrence as well as other miscellaneous matters incidental to the unrest, adding that there was no majority or minority report, but just one team report of the Tribunal.
He said: “We took time out to visit the Lekki Free Trade Zone. We visited the Dangote Industries, Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, the villages and communities in the area including Okunraye where the trouble began.
“We saw a lot and we learnt a lot. From what was presented to us, from what we saw with our own eyes, our view is that Lekki Free Trade Zone has vast potential to transform the economic landscape of Lagos State in terms of generating massive employment, creation of wealth, generating revenue and so on.
“Our findings reveal that the transformation would be on a scale that is hitherto unparalleled in Africa,” Justice Olateru-Olagbegi said.