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Sanwo-Olu promises to make #EndSARS judicial panel report public

By Gbenga Salau, Gbenga Akinfenwa (Lagos), Matthew Ogune (Abuja) and Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan)
22 October 2021   |   3:10 am
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said the state government would make the Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses report public.

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• Afenifere chides govts over high-handedness of memorial protesters

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said the state government would make the Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses report public.

This is coming a day after a member of the panel said though it is the duty of the government to make the report public, if the state government fails to do so, some of the members know what to do with their copy of the report.

The governor, who stated that the state government would not make any attempt to cover up the recommendations of the panel, whether it is in the government’s favour or not, said the report would be helpful in strengthening true reconciliation and preventing re-occurrence of violence in the state.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that he had ordered an unconditional release of those detained by the police during the drive-through #EndSARS memorial protest at the Lekki Toll-gate on Wednesday except one person who was caught with dangerous weapons at the scene.

He, therefore, extended a hand of fellowship to the youth to be stakeholders in the development of the state, while reiterating his commitment to reconciliation.

He urged them to join the rebuilding effort to restore the operating capacity of institutions affected in the violence.

SIMILARLY, the Nigeria Police Force has been advised to immediately release all the activists and journalists arrested during the #EndSARS memorial protests across the country for peace to reign.

A renowned socio-political activist and critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri, who gave the advice yesterday, in a statement in Lagos, said those brutalised should also be compensated.

The social critic strongly advised Nigerian youths to get involved in politics and take back the Nigerian nation from total collapse and looming disaster.

MEANWHILE, three applicants who witnessed and were victims of the military and police onslaught during the #EndSARS protest at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020, have filed a petition before the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court, seeking the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

Lawyers representing the applicants, Bolaji Gabari, Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga, Gaye Sowe and Nelson Olanipekun, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, urged the ECOWAS court, to consider and hold that the rights of the applicants and other peaceful protesters have been grossly violated by the Nigerian state and its agencies.

“Given this disregard for the rights of Nigerian people, we are commencing litigation against the Federal Government of Nigeria at the ECOWAS Court of Justice to seek redress for the victims and accountability against the government, which through her agents were involved in the rights abuses that led to the #EndSARS protests and its aftermaths,” they said.

ALSO, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has chided governments over the way #EndSARS memorial protesters were handled in some parts of the country during rallies on Wednesday.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, the group maintained that the high-handed manner with which the police treated those who peacefully organised rallies to commemorate the misadventure at Lekki Tollgate, ‘clearly showed that the government and the police have not demonstrated that the lessons inherent on October 20, 2020, mean anything to them’.

“The failure of the government to fulfil the promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue has added to the list of how the government continue to alienate itself from the people,” Ajayi said.

The Afenifere spokesman maintained that the treatment meted out to some protesters in Lagos, Benin, Osogbo and others on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, sent a message that the positive lessons inherent in the #EndSARS protest have not been learnt, describing it as unfortunate.