The tribunal of enquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to probe the December 26, 2012 firecracker explosion in the state commenced sitting on Thursday.
One person died, 40 injured and properties were destroyed during the explosion that rocked Jankara Market on Lagos Island.
At the sitting on Thursday, the tribunal met with stakeholders and the public at City Hall, Lagos Island.
Chairman of the tribunal, retired Justice Sunday Ishola, announced that witnesses to the tragedy would start appearing before the tribunal from Monday, April 8, 2013. The tribunal would sit on weekdays and commence proceedings at 10am daily.
Ishola said Governor Babatunde Fashola gave the tribunal three months to conclude the investigation and submit their report and recommendations.
Ishola said, “The tribunal is to investigate how firecrackers were imported into Lagos, sold and stored. We are to investigate and recommend to the government how firecrackers could be housed and managed so that they do not cause disaster in future.
“I implore witnesses to the incident to appear before this tribunal, if necessary, with their lawyers. They should come and testify. However, they are warned not to give false testimony.”
He said any document that might lend credence to witnesses’ testimonies should also be presented before the tribunal, insisting that original ones should be brought along to compare with the certified true copies.
He said, “This tribunal is empowered to compel reluctant witnesses to appear before it. However, witnesses should know that they are protected.”
Some prominent Lagosians including Sasore of Lagos, Chief Waheed Ayeni, attended the tribunal.