#OccupyLekkiTollGate vs #DefendLagos: Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa speaks

Lekki Tollgate, scene of alleged massacre of protesters in 2020

Lekki Toll reopening: Nigerians kick as Lagos govt. seeks ‘understanding’

Ebun Olu Adegboruwa: calls for calm

By Muhaimin Olowoporoku

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, a member of the Lagos Judicial Panel who was opposed to the reopening of the Lekki toll gate has called for calm among people planning a second protest on Saturday.

He said this is necessary to avoid a bloody clash between youths against the reopening of the Lekki Toll Gate (#OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters) and those in support (#DefendLagos protesters).

Adegboruwa, who ruled on Saturday that it was premature to open the Lekki Tollgate, however, noted that any protest at a time like this will undermine the progress made so far by the panel.

He said: ” Whereas, it is reported in the news media that there are calls for protest and counter-protest, at the Lekki Toll Gate, slated for Saturday, February 13, 2021; “The 1999 Constitution, in its section 39, has granted to every person, the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and to impart ideas and information, without interference.

“Nevertheless, I will like to plead most passionately, that the protest and counter-protest be shelved, at least for now, based on the reasons stated hereunder.

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“The Judicial Panel of Inquiry is still sitting and it is yet to make any finding or recommendations, on the Lekki Toll Gate Incident of 20th October 2020, beyond the majority and dissenting decisions of 6th October 2021, all of which are purely interlocutory.

“The alleged bloodshed, mayhem, repressions and violence of October 2020 in general, should not be encouraged to be repeated again. The Panels of Inquiry that were set up were all done in response to the EndSARS five for five demands. It will be good to await the decisions of these Panels.

The SAN also noted that it is safer for Lagos State and its agencies, the EndSars protesters and others concerned with the Lekki Toll Gate Incident, to await the final report of the Panel.

“I, therefore, plead that the protest and counter-protest slated for Saturday, February 13, 2021, or any other date, be put on hold to abide by the final report of the Panel.

Mr. Adegboruwa, on Saturday, gave a dissenting ruling after Justice Doris Okuwobi and four other panelists ruled that the LCC return to the toll gate for Insurance claims and commence repairs at the facility.

Mr. Adegboruwa’s dissenting ruling was backed by three other representatives at the panel, Olorunrinu Oduala, Temitope Majekodunmi, and Patience Patrick Udoh who all opposed the decision of the panel to reopen the tollgate.

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