Osun judicial panel of inquiry filled with people of questionable characters, EndSARS protesters allege
By Ekene Agbor, Osogbo
Nigerian youths championing agitations against Police brutality and bad governance in Osun state have faulted the constitution of the State Judicial panel of inquiry into the activities of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, by the state government.
The state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola had inaugurated a 12-man panel of inquiry to look into the alleged brutality of police against the people of the state.
But addressing a press conference in Osogbo on Monday, the #EndSARS protesters accused the state government of filling the panel with people of questionable characters.
According to the spokesperson of the protesters, Olawale Bakare and Olushayo Ogunleye, the Mobilisation Secretary, the panel needed to be reviewed whirl those those who lack moral justification to represent youths in the panel should be weeded out.
The protesters warned the state Governor against criminalising their demonstration against police brutality, bad governnace, reversal of fuel hike and electricity tariff.
They said, “We seek protection under the law against the anti-democratic tendencies in Osun State, under the callous and incompetent supervision of Alh. Gboyega Oyetola to repress, threaten and attack peaceful protesters. It’s quite unfortunate that the individuals who are supposed to be the custodian of democracy and preserve law and order are rather found culpable of unleashing terror on peaceful protesters plus setting up a kangaroo leadership to mischievously misrepresent the movement.
“As peaceful agitating youths, we have been engaging in demonstrations since the emergence of EndSARS protest nation wide.
“We maintain that the Judicial Panel of Inquiry be fairly and justly constituted. We reject an imposed Judicial Panel of Inquiry constituted by Mr Governor, Gboyega Oyetola whose convoy killed protesters and left many severely injured. We hereby call for the immediate and unconditional review of this Judicial Panel of Inquiry, we request that no panelist must have controversial antecedents and track records of service must be acceptable to the protesters.
“We emphatically demand that the protesters should also be adequately and satisfactorily represented in the Judicial Panel of Inquiry as a way to encourage transparency. whatsoever with the state government are of questionable characters. No kangaroo representation of the protesters is allowed, impostors posing to be the #EndSars protesters and the representative of the National Youths Council of Nigeria should be immediately ejected as the body itself has no legal base since their certificate of existence has been withdrawn far back by Cooperate Affairs Commission, CAC for violating the stipulated age requirement of The National Youth Policy.
“We also demand that every sitting of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry which must comprise of persons of integrity and moral excellence, must be aired and televised live for all the people of Osun and Nigeria at large to follow. We are also deeply concerned and condemn in absolute term the meeting the already constituted Judicial Panel of Inquiry held which was not made public but shrouded in secrecy, the true representative of the people should carry the people along in every action.
“The public should be in the know that whatever is done in secrecy has ulterior motives. These are reasons that further buttress a need for an immediate and unconditional review of the Panel.
Also, the public must not be left in the gloom on the Power of the Panel. The Osun State Government has intentionally kept mute on making public as to the Power of the Panel. Any panel without a clearly designed duty is more as a toothless bulldog; mere voices without action can only be generated from such. We hereby demand that the government empower the Judicial Panel to arrest and prosecute any officer found guilty of any allegation.
“In addition, we believe no stone of offence should be left unturned. The atrocities and brutal attack led by Asiri Eniba would not be overlooked and must also be addressed. We still maintain that Asiri Eniba must be brought to book because Eniba is not above the law and must be tried by the law. He was sighted at the centre front of the hoodlums shouting that they should attack us. In fact, everyone started shouting Asiri at the sight of him. Some of the protesters never knew him until the shout of his name ravaged and depredated the scene of attack. In that light, we demand immediate arrest of this said suspect and his cohorts and justice be served.”
Recall that the State Government had raised the alarm that there was a plot by those it described as “unscrupulous elements, teleguided by agents of anarchy, to spark trouble in the state by starting another round of hooliganism tomorrow, Monday 2nd November 2020.”
In the statement signed by Funke Egbemode, Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, warned against distabilisation of the peace of the state through the guise of protest.
“The government is imploring parents, guardians and well-meaning citizens of the state to caution their wards not to allow themselves to be used to satisfy the knavish tricks of these elements who are determined to trouble the state with their misguided actions.
“The State of Osun has been through enough crisis in the past weeks and cannot afford another at this time.
“Security agencies have been fully briefed to be on the alert and to protect the peace of the state. Let’s not forget what the last round of trouble cost the state. The government will not fold its hands while some characters try to experiment with the the lives and livelihood of the people of Osun.
“The government hereby warns that those found joining any gathering that can bring trouble to the state or unsettle citizens will answer fully to the law enforcement agents who are already on the alert,” the Government said.
2022 IYD: VFN holds Intergenerational Dialogue Against FGM as Stakeholders declare war against harmful practices TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO As the world marked International Youth Day on Friday, August 12, a Non-governmental organisation, Value Female Network (VFN) held an Intergenerational dialogue towards eradicating the illegal practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Osun State and Nigeria […]
2023: Nigerians have a lot to gain in Amechi’s wealth of experience – Ooni TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Monday, hosted the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and saluted him for declaring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. Amechi, one of the presidential aspirants under the platform […]
Gunmen shoot Catholic priest By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo A young Catholic priest from Awka diocese, Nigeria, Rev Fr Cornelus Okoye has been attacked by some hoodlums suspected to be Fulani gunmen. The cleric miraculously escaped death from Fulani terrorists’ attack after he was shot and stabbed. It was gathered that the priest was attacked on […]