Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), on Saturday, called for the unconditional release of all protesters arrested at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.
The senior advocate said he was “saddened and devastated” by the dehumanisation of the protesters by security operatives on Saturday.
Adegboruwa, who is also a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate, said he could not 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.
He stated this in a statement titled, ‘The Arrest, Detention and Dehumanization of Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate Are Unacceptable’.
He said, “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, striped 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.
“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!”
Popular comedian Debo Adebayo, also known as Mr Macaroni, and about 30 other #OccupyLekkiTollgate campaigners were arrested on Saturday for protesting at the Lekki toll gate where they demanded that justice be served to the victims of the October 20 2020 #EndSARS protest at the toll plaza.
The panel had decided to hand over the tollgate back to its operators, Lekki Concession Company. Four members of the panel including Adegboruwa faulted the decision of the panel but the chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, and four other members of the panel acceded to LCC’s request to repossess the toll gate.
The #OccupyLekkiTollgate protesters, however, kicked against the move, insisting that justice must be served to the victims of the Lekki toll gate shooting of October 20, 2020.