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I Do Not Regret Pulling Out Of Lekki Panel, Says Activist Rinu Oduala

Rinu Oduala, an activist, has said that she did not regret stepping down from the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters in February 2021.

 

She also said the EndSARS panel report on the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2021, by the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel, was not favourable to some people.

Oduala, who spoke on PUNCH Live on Friday, stressed that beyond the submission of the report by the panel, justice must be served to all.

Oduala was a youth representative on the panel till February 2021 when she pulled out over the planned reopening of the Lekki toll gate.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the panel submitted its report to the Lagos State Government on Monday, noting that at least nine persons were confirmed dead at the Lekki toll plaza when soldiers stormed the tollgate to disperse EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

 

The report indicted the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army of crimes against humanity at the Lekki toll gate, a focal gathering point of young demonstrators protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in October 2020.

Speaking on the leaked report of the panel, Oduala said it was horrific that “the military opened fire on unarmed young people singing the national anthem”.

“I do not think the report is actually favourable to some certain people; what I think the panel has succeeded in doing is clearing the air for people that doubted what happened during the protest,” she added.

On her withdrawal from the panel nine months ago, she said, “I do not think that I have regretted leaving the panel because my stance remains clear: I did not go on the panel recommended by the government, young people across the country recommended me to go on the panel and my convictions are clear; justice for victims of police brutality. I left the panel when there were issues of handing over the panel to the LCC (Lekki Concession Company).”

The activist, whose bank accounts were frozen for alleged terrorist financing but reopened by court order, also alleged that the accounts of some EndSARS protesters are still frozen to date.

She asked the Lagos State government “not to come up with a ramshackle White Paper”, and emphasised that justice must be served.

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