Nigerian Govt Lacks Political Will To End Police Brutality, Says Rinu Oduala

#EndSARS advocate, Rinu Oduala, has criticised the Nigerian Government, saying it lacks the political will to end police brutality across the nation.

Ms. Oduala stated this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, to mark the one anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

“I say with all confidence that I do not think that the Nigerian Government possesses the political will to end police brutality because they benefit from our indignity; they lack proactive action, political will, and implementation of policies”, she said.

According to her, the government lacks external accountability mechanism in handling the issues surrounding police brutality.

She believes despite the protests held last year and actions taken by the government, the police officers have yet to stop extorting innocent citizens.

“From October last year till now, are police officers still not extorting Nigerian citizens, harassing them?” Oduala queried. “Just in September, from reports that I know of, over 10 young Nigerians were killed extra-judicially by police officers across Nigeria.

“We should ask our policymakers if they are focused on ending police brutality? From the panels, are we paying victims no matter how small the amount is for the injustice meted to them and letting the criminals who got them to this situation get a pat on the back, or are we making sure that we set systems that ensure that cases of police brutality reduce drastically?”

Rinu, while speaking about her experience as a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, stated that most of the victims who came to the panel just wanted the public to know that they were victims of police brutality.

#ENDSARS Advocate, Rinu Oduala during her interview on Sunrise Daily

 

“Nigerians that were at the panel just wanted the world, the public to know that they were also victims of police brutality, and it’s not just a myth.

“Some of these people have been given an opportunity to air their complaints and anger to the world; it shows that we are doing something right,” she said.

“As a member of the panel, the number of cases I have seen shows we are winning something. A year after, the five-for-five demands are still yet to be met.

“Some protesters who were put in prison are still there, what are the police afraid of? These protesters were charged for frivolous things.”

A year after the Lekki tollgate shooting, celebrities and youths held a memorial car procession at the same venue in Lagos State.

The procession announced by rapper Falz and comedian Mr Macaroni took place amid heavy security presence to mark the anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that led to the disbandment of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.

#EndSARS: Rinu Steps Down From Lagos Judicial Panel, Accuses FG Of ‘Cover-Up’

Rinu Oduala (File Photo)

 

One of the prominent youths in the fight against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the country, Rinu Oduala, has stepped down from the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up to investigate cases of police brutality in the state.

She announced the decision in a series of tweets on Friday.

“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.

Rinu and Majekodunmi Temitope had been sworn into the panel on October 27, 2020, to represent the youths in the wake of the nationwide #EndSARS protests.

While thanking the government for the invitation and some of the successes recorded from the panel, she, however, stated that she would not be part of a cover-up.

“What I will not do is be part of a cover-up. I am proud that I took the invitation because some of the successes the panel has recorded so far have been incredibly powerful for the people,” she said.

 

 

Her decision comes days after the Judicial panel returned control of the Lekki toll gate plaza to its owners, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).

Read Also: No Protest Will Be Allowed In Any Part Of The State, Lagos CP Warns

The toll gate had been one of the major converging points for the protesters in Lagos last year and was also the location for the infamous #LekkiShootings, masterminded by security operatives particularly men of the Nigerian Army.

During the proceedings on Saturday, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, gave a ruling allowing the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Ltd to repossess the toll gate – a decision that has been met with diverse views from Nigerians, many of whom are of the opinion that the toll gate should remain closed in honour of those lost their lives to the incident.

Fresh protests are believed to be looming, even as the toll gate is expected to undergo reconstruction and subsequently, resume full operations.

Reacting to the planned re-opening, Rinu said “my stand on the reopening on the toll gate is clear; the state govt & the private organisation operating the toll have not been cleared of collusion with elements allegedly deployed by the Federal Government to target citizens on home soil during a time of peace, without provocation”.