Govt Trying To Buy Time With Judicial Panels – #EndSARS Advocate

(FILE) Members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution at a sitting on November 28, 2020.

 

An #EndSARS advocate, Oluwatosin Gbenga, has said that the Nigerian government is trying to buy time with the creation of a judicial panel of inquiry on police brutality nationwide.

Gbenga disclosed this on Thursday during a special end-of-the-year programme which aired on Channels Television.

“There is a lot of reinforcement for people to actually join that particular movement. For us, the government is trying to buy time with this judicial panel that has been set up,” he said.

“The EndSARS protests is actually an explosion of what has been boiling over and over again and the fact that we have many students who are at home during the ASUU strike.”

Despite the protests that crippled commercial activities and left many motorists stranded in Lagos, the FCT and other parts of the country, Gbenga explained that young people were still being harassed, allegedly by men of the Nigeria Police.

READ ALSO: Lai Mohammed Says CNN Report On #EndSARS One-Dimensional, Insists Military Fired Blank Bullets Into The Air

For the #EndSARS advocate, young people want a nation where they can express themselves, exert their freedom of expression and movement.

He noted that as of last week, security operatives still arrested young Nigerian arbitrarily, demanding huge sums of money for bail.

An #EndSARS advocate, Oluwatosin Gbenga speaks during an interview on Channels Television on December 31, 2020.

 

While noting that the judicial panels were meant to address previous cases of police brutality, he called for the end to what he described as institutional corruption.

“For me and for some of us, this is not actually what we wanted. We want a nation where young people will have the opportunity and freedom to express themselves and move out.

“Till last week, we still got calls of police taking people on the streets arbitrarily and asking you to come and pay ₦10,000, ₦20,000 to bail your family members out.

“The real issue has not been addressed. It is the institutional corruption and ethic decadence within the Police Force itself that needed to be addressed,” he added.

Youths had on October 8 staged a nationwide protest after weeks of outrage and anger with videos and pictures showing police brutality, harassment, and extortion in Nigeria.

The protests were led predominantly by young Nigerians in different cities alongside many activists and celebrities.

Following the protesters’ issuance of five-point demand, the Federal Government established a judicial panel of inquiry to address cases of brutality and grant justice to victims.

In response to the public outcry on police brutality, the Inspector-General of Nigeria Police on October 11 dissolved the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

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