Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), who is a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to probe cases of police brutality, has threatened to quit.
Adegboruwa, in a statement on Saturday, called for the unconditional release of all protesters arrested at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, adding that he was saddened and devastated by the dehumanisation of the protesters by security operatives on Saturday.
He said he cannot continue to sit at the panel when fresh assaults were being perpetrated with impunity. He added that he was still consulting with civil societies to take a decision.
Adegboruwa’s statement titled, ‘The Arrest, Detention and Dehumanization of Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate Are Unacceptable,’ partly read:
“I have been monitoring events at the Lekki Toll Gate since morning, and I am totally overwhelmed with the images, videos and sundry evidence of police brutality of armless civilians, who ventured to protest at the Toll Gate. In one particular video, I saw citizens of Nigeria being dehumanized, stripped half-naked and cramped together in a rickety bus. This is totally unacceptable.
“While we are yet to come to terms with the events of October 20, 2020, it becomes worrisome that the security agencies have not learnt any positive lesson from those occurrences. I commend the protesters for their peaceful conduct.
“I cannot in good conscience continue to sit at any Panel of Inquiry to heal wounds and end police brutality when fresh assaults are being perpetrated with impunity. Consequently, I am presently consulting with my constituency within the civil society, as to my continued participation in the EndSARS Judicial Panel.
“I hereby demand the immediate release of all those arrested in connection with the peaceful protest at the Lekki Toll Gate today. On no account should anything happen to any of them while in the custody of the police.”
Adegboruwa added, “I appeal for calm on all sides, in order not to escalate the worsening security situation across the land. I cannot fail to point out the fact that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is a product of protest and civil disobedience. Let history vindicate the just. Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta!”