A representative of civil society on the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has appealed to #OccupyLekkiTollgate and #DefendLagos campaigners to cancel the planned protest and counter-protest slated for Saturday, February 13, 2021.
TheNewsGuru recalls that the panel last Saturday decided to hand over the toll gate back to its operators, Lekki Concession Company, after forensic experts submitted their report on the October 20, 2020 occurrence.
Afterwards, hash tags such as #OccupyLekkiTollgate and counter-protest hash tags such as #DefendLagos and #DemNoBornYourPapaWell trended on social media.
In a statement on Wednesday, Adegboruwa said the youths have the constitutional right to express themselves but appealed to them to shelve the planned demonstrations “at least for now”.
He said, “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 utmost respect for the fundamental rights of all citizens, including protesters, counter-protesters and non-protesters alike.”