Nigerians on Twitter have condemned the oath of secrecy the Lagos State government is foisting on members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry established to investigate police brutality in the state.
A lawyer, Festus Ogun, who addressed the matter on Twitter, described it as unconstitutional.
He said, “Again, this oath of secrecy is legally defective. First, the idea of secrecy is occult. Section 38(4) of the 1999 constitution frowns at ‘secret societies’.
“Oath of confidentiality would be better. Second, oaths are to be sworn before a commissioner of oaths, not the governor.”
Again, this Oath of Secrecy is legally defective.
First, the idea of ‘secrecy’ is occultic; S. 38(4) of the 1999 Constitution frowns at ‘secret society’. Oath of Confidentiality would be better.
Second, Oaths are to be sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths, not the Governor. pic.twitter.com/ovlipoMoJJ
— FESTUS OGUN (@mrfestusogun) October 27, 2020
Other Nigerians, who reacted on social media, said the state government’s move was suspicious.
Social media influencer, Dr Harvey Olufunmilayo, said the oath of secrecy was a ploy by the state government to cover up the truth.
If members of Lagos Judicial Panel of Enquiry are truly made to sign an oath of secrecy, NOW is time to end that scam.
These Panels are a PUBLIC inquiry into a matter of PUBLIC interest about PUBLIC crimes and atrocities committed by the Police.
TELEVISE ALL THE PANEL SESSIONS.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc ð©ºð³ð¬ð¬ð§ (@DrOlufunmilayo) October 27, 2020
Another Twitter user, Dr Dipo Awojide, said the oath of secrecy would cause the low trust level between the government and the people to sink further.
There is absolutely no need for folks joining this panel in Lagos state to swear an oath of secrecy. It just makes everything look suspect from the get go. Trust levels is currently at the lowest level, @jidesanwoolu. LASG should be doing everything to build trust! #EndSARS
— Dr. DÃpÃ² AwÃ³jÃdÃ© (@OgbeniDipo) October 27, 2020
The oath of secrecy ordered on panel members reads in part, “I solemnly swear/affirm that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal any matter to any person which shall be brought under my consideration or shall come to my knowledge in the discharge of my official duties, except as may be required for the discharge of my official duties or as may be officially permitted by the governor. So help me God/Allah.”
The panel began its sitting on Tuesday (today).