One Week After Lekki Shooting, Clamour to Hold Culprits Accountable Mounts

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Nigerians take part in a protest against alleged violence, extortion and harassment from Nigeria's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), in Lagos, Nigeria October 11, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

*Pastor Adeboye declares 30-day fasting, prayer for Nigeria

By Chiemelie Ezeobi

To commemorate one week anniversary of the Lekki Tollgate shooting, #EndSARS protesters across the nation, vowed that they will stay on course and ensure justice for the fallen and injured.

To mark the anniversary, some bought wreaths and dropped off, while others charged the state government to erect a memorial at the tollgate in remembrance of lives lost.

While they mourned the lives lost in the struggle against police brutality, they lamented that after one week of the shooting, not one person has been brought to book.

Quoting the admission of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in an interview with CNN, where he agreed soldiers shot at unarmed protesters, they queried why none of them had been fished out.

Former CNN anchor, Isha Sesay, who followed the protests, wrote, “ Many others are demanding accountability alongside you ….one week on from the #LekkiTollGateShooting the questions remain the same – who gave the orders? Who will be held accountable?”

Reality TV star, Kim Oprah, said: Exactly a week after the #LekkiTollGateShooting no one has been brought to book yet, we still don’t know who ordered the shootings. May the soul of all protesters who died rest in perfect peace.”

@Idralbaba wrote, “This time last week, some young Nigerians woke up being hopeful, stepped out to peacefully protest, to fight against oppression… they never knew their lives would be cut short by these same oppressors.”

Rayo Kasali wrote, “we raised our voices with dignity against systemic oppression, only for the government respond with even greater oppression. And they demand we keep quiet and forget. It can’t (…sic) happen. We will never forget!”

Meanwhile, condemnation has trailed the oath of secrecy forms issued to the two youth representatives, Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi, on the Lagos Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution.

The independent judicial panel was set up on October 15 by the state government to probe the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), but began proceedings on Tuesday.

The picture of the oath of secrecy form elicited widespread outrage with many insisting that the details of hearings must be made public without gagging any of the panel members.

Following the outrage, the contentious oath of secrecy was withdrawn before the two youth representatives were sworn in.

Confirming its withdrawal, Moe Odele, a lawyer and advocate of the movement, said: “This has been rejected after concerns were raised and a dialogue was held this morning. The panelists will not be signing this document.”

The panel is chaired by Justice Doris Okuwobi (Rtd) with Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN), DIG Taiwo Lakanu (Rtd), Patience Udoh, Segun Awosanya, Olutoyin Odusanya, and the two youth representatives as members.

The task before the panel is to hear the submissions of SARS survivors, interrogate the accused personnel, determine the veracity of all claims, recommend punishment for the guilty and appropriate compensation for the victims.

In another development, the General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has declared a 30-day fasting and prayer for Nigeria.

RCCG Assistant General Overseer, Admin, and Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola, who announced this in a statement on Tuesday, said it was for church members.

According to Adeboye, the programme tagged, “Fasting and Prayer for Nigeria’’ would start from November 3 and end in December with a prayer guide that would be forwarded soon.