Proceedings at the Lagos state Judicial Panel of Inquiry which was set up to look into police brutality in the state and related matters was on Saturday suspended following the withdrawal of two youth representatives from the panel.
The absence of the youth representatives ensured that the panel could not form a quorum at Saturday’s proceeding which was expected to feature testimony from the Nigerian army.
Present at the Lagos court of arbitration were representatives of the Nigerian army, journalists, observers, human rights groups, and other attendees who had gathered for the days’ proceeding.
Chairman of the panel, Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge, announced the adjournment of the sitting and noted that two members of the panel, Bolatito Olorunrinu and Temitope Majekodunmi, have withdrawn.
Their withdrawal from the panel followed the freezing of Miss Olorunrinu’s account and 19 others for their participation in the #EndSARS protest.
On Friday some national banks were ordered to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a corporate organisation for their active participation in the #EndSARS protest, a campaign that had rocked major Nigerian cities with the demonstrators calling for an end to police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
Mrs Okuwobi told the attendees of the panel sitting that Miss Olorunrinu “was destabilized by the incident” and announced her withdrawal from the panel.
“We are confronted with a situation which prevented her from coming. We do not know if the two youth representatives will eventually pull out,” Okuwobi said.
“We do not want a situation where proceedings will go on and it is impugned with controversy due to a lack of quorum.
“In all matters, we have to wait for them to join us, without them we are handicapped,” the retired judge said.
The sitting was adjourned till November 14.
By Abel Ejikeme