BY LEVI JOHNSON
The representative of civil society on the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN has given reasons the planned protest and counter-protest slated for Saturday 13 February should be shelved.
Trouble began when the panel last Saturday decided to hand over the toll gate back to its operators, Lekki Concession Company without a final conclusion of those who were killed.
The displeasures from the youths over the reopening of the tollgate triggered the sudden hashtags #OccupyLekkiTollgate, #DefendLagos and #DemNoBornYourPapaWell trending on Twitter.
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However, Adegboruwa in a statement on Wednesday said the youths have the constitutional right to express themselves but begged them to shelve their planned demonstrations “at least for now”.
His words: “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’m 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, where most economic, social, educational and other activities, are partially grounded, presently.
“While the assignment of investigating the Lekki Toll Gate Incident of 20th October 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 appeal to all security agencies, especially the police and the army, both respondents before the Panel, to embrace caution and demonstrate the utmost respect for the fundamental rights of all citizens, including protesters, counter-protesters and non-protesters alike.”