“Please Don’t Protest On Saturday” Judicial Panel Member Appeals To Lagosians

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A Lagos-based lawyer-cum-rights campaigner, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), member of the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State government to investigate and make a recommendation on the #EndSARS protest of Oct. 20, 2020, urged residents today to tread with caution while appealing to Lagos residents to refrain from further protests at the Lekki Toll Plaza.

His appeal is contained in a statement tagged “Special Appeal to Nigerians/Lagosians on Protest and Counter-protest’’.

#EndSARS

The plaza was consequently closed to business, but the panel of inquiry ruled last Saturday that the concessionaire, the Lekki Concession Company, could return to the plaza to start the process of repairing damages and resuming business.

The decision led to plans by some groups of people to occupy the plaza on Saturday, Feb. 13.

In his 10-point appeal, Adegboruwa said while the 1999 Constitution guarantees citizens the freedom to hold opinions and express the same, the planned protest should be shelved as the panel of inquiry was yet to make any recommendation.

“I will like to plead most passionately that the protest and counter-protest be shelved, at least for now based on the reasons stated hereunder.

“The judicial panel of inquiry is still sitting and it is yet to make any finding or recommendations on the Lekki Toll Gate incident of Oct. 20, 2020.

“The alleged bloodshed, mayhem, repressions and violence of October 2020, in general, should not be encouraged to be repeated again.

“The panels of inquiry that were set up were all done in response to the #EndSARS “Five for Five’’ demands; it will be good to await the decisions of these panels.

“A protest or counter-protest at this time may work to jeopardize the overall work of the panel, the witnesses appearing or to appear, the testimonies, the investigations or even affect its ultimate assignment.

“I am concerned about the consequences of protests and counter-protests at the same location in relation to security and likely violation of COVID-19 protocols, given the rising wave of the pandemic in Lagos State especially.

“While the assignment of investigating the Lekki Toll Gate incident of Oct. 20, 2020, is yet to be concluded by the panel, it will be premature to proceed on it as the basis of renewed calls for protest and counter-protest.

“It is safer for now for the Lagos State Government and its agencies, the #EndSARS group, and indeed all those concerned with the Lekki Toll Gate incident to await the final report of the panel.

“I, therefore, plead that the protest and counter-protest slated for Saturday, Feb. 13, or any other date be put on hold,’’ he stated.



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