Mixed reactions over Lagos probe panel
Osun youths reject state’s team Group sets up independent committee
Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George; former President of Igbo think-tank, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike; President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima; former PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, have expressed mixed feelings over the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution For Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Lekki Toll Gate Incident.
But Alliance for the Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has set up an independent panel to probe aftermath of the protests. The panel was set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after the #EndSARS protests, to look into cases of police brutality and other issues in the state.
Speaking on the possibility of the eight-man panel led by Justice Doris Okuwobi to deliver justice, Uwazurike said he would rather fold his arms. He said: “Despite that I have a lot of respect for Justice Okuwobi and other members of the panel, there is concern whether the government would have the political will to implement whatever report the panel eventually may present.”
On his part, Shettima said the north was patiently and anxiously waiting for the outcome of the various panels of inquiry, especially the ones in the South East zone.
According to Agbaje, the credibility of the panels depends on the personnel and government’s sincerity to implement the reports. George said it was too early to draw conclusions on the panels now. Citing the Lagos panel, the PDP stalwart noted that contradictions between the governor and the military as well as the disposition of the Federal Government already called for concern.
BUT agitators in Osun State have faulted the state’s 12-man panel constituted by Governor Gboyega Oyetola. Addressing a press conference in Osogbo yesterday, the #EndSARS protesters accused the state government of filling the panel with people of questionable characters.
Their spokesperson, Olawale Bakare, and Mobilisation Secretary, Olushayo Ogunleye, demanded review of the panel to weed out those who lack moral justification to represent youths.
MEANWHILE, ASCAB said it has set up an independent panel to probe the murder and arson in the aftermath of the protests. The General Secretary, Mr. Ade Atambi; and Secretary for Publicity, Mr. Adewale Adeoye, stated yesterday the the independent panel would conduct a non-partisan and public interest-driven inquiry into the killing of protesters, police and military personnel as well as the so-called hoodlums during the protests.
The rights group added that local and international organisations as well as resource persons from local and international human rights bodies would assist its work. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Chino Obiagwu, leads the seven-member panel, while Affiong Affiong is the secretary.