By Shina Abubakar
Some members of the #EndSARS movement in Osun State, on Monday, thronged streets of the state capital demanding the disbandment of the State Panel of Inquiry against police brutality.
The group led by Emmanuel Adebisi protested through Olaiya junction to Ogo-Oluwa area and terminated at the State House of Assembly around 9am.
The group was blocked at the entrance of the Assembly complex and demanded to see the Speaker of the House, Hon. Timothy Owoeye before they would leave the complex. Although they were blocked from accessing the complex, the Speaker later addressed them.
Part of the reasons, the group sought the disbandment of the panel, including the non-inclusion of EndSARS protesters in the panel.
Speaking with journalists at the House of Assembly, Adebisi said the state government did not fulfil its promise to organise an all-inclusive town hall meeting, saying genuine protesters were not allowed access into the venue.
While calling for the release of an EndSARS protester identified as Segun who was remanded at the custodial centre, Adebisi also demanded that the Federal Government unfreeze the bank account of some protesters as he added that protest is a right and not a sin.
According to him, the panel lacked the will to ensure justice because during one of its sittings, the Police Officer in charge of legal matters, F. N. Osei stating in front of the panellists that the life of one Rasheed Ismaila, who was allegedly killed in an hotel at Iwo by an officer of the disbanded SARS, is not worth more than N1.3million paid the family by the police.
“One of the promises they made to us that led to the suspension of the protest, was to set up Judicial Panel of Enquiry but later they form their panel which I regard as
“Political Panel of Enquiry”. The panel of inquiry should be disbanded because non of our members was included. Another of the promise was to organized town hall meeting but it was otherwise. They did not allow any of the EndSARS movement to enter the venue.
“They should release Segun, one of us that was arrested and remanded in Ilesha prison after the EndSARS protest. We want the FG to unfreeze the accounts of EndSARS protesters. We are peaceful protesters and we know our rights and We won’t give in to any intimidation.
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“We can not sit down in a country where a police officer will say that life doesn’t worth more than N1.3million, he even said that some don’t even worth up N100,000. This was what F B Oseyi the OC Legal Osun State Police Command said during the sitting of panel of inquiry and none of the members of the panel said anything about it. When I stand to object it, they said I have passed my boundary. We want government to call the OC legal in public to explain what he meant,” he said.
Addressing the protesters, the Speaker, Hon. Timothy Owoeye said the four issues raised by the protesters would be sorted out
“They are talking about the composition of the panel of enquiry, the statement made by OC legal during the sitting of the panel, issues of youths empowerment and town hall meeting are the four demands by the protesters and the House of Assembly, being the representative of the people and part of our agenda of effective public engagement we are going to engage those involved, that is the OC legal, the Commissioner for Youths and Sport.
“We will also look into the composition of the panel by the time we get to the office I will communicate with my colleagues and I believe that by Monday, we will come up with a decision. We are into it together, we can not run away from them as a responsible government,” he said.