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Youth rep quits Lagos panel on protester shootings, police brutality

Global Feb 12, 2021 20:48
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LAGOS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - One of the two youth members of a
Lagos state panel investigating police brutality and the deadly
shooting of protesters has resigned, she wrote in a tweet on
Friday.
Rinu Oduala, 22, cited "undue intimidation of peaceful
protesters" and the panel's recent vote to re-open Lekki Toll
Gate, where the Oct. 20 shootings took place, before the panel
concluded its investigation.
"I will be stepping down from the Lagos Judicial Panel as it
is now obvious that the government is only out to use us for
performative actions," she said in a Tweet.
A Lagos state government spokesman did not immediately
respond to a request for comment. Reuters could not reach the
panel for comment.
It was not immediately clear whether the panel, which
convened on Oct. 26, promising neutrality and justice, could
move forward without both youth members. Thousands of Nigerians protested nationwide for nearly two
weeks last October, demanding an end to a police unit called the
Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which they said was
responsible for extortion and human rights abuses. The police
disbanded SARS, but denied most accusations. On Oct. 20, witnesses and groups such as Amnesty
International said soldiers opened fire at protesters, killing
some. The military has denied shooting live rounds and the
police have denied involvement. In the aftermath, the government directed each state to
convene a panel to investigate police brutality claims. The
Lagos panel was also tasked with investigating the shootings.
But protesters have since been detained, had bank accounts
frozen, and received threatening and harassing calls that they
say come from those linked to government. Nigeria's information minister warned activists earlier this
week to drop plans for a protest in Lagos over the reopening of
the toll gate, saying it risked being "hijacked by hoodlums".

Youth rep quits Lagos panel on protester shootings, police brutality
 

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