Youth activist and promoter of #EndSARS protest, Rinu Oduala has stepped down her membership on the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution and Compensation for victims of SARS-related abuses.
Ms Oduala who is one of the two youth representatives on the panel was absent at Fridays sitting.
Her decision is based on last Saturday’s split decision of the panel on the reopening of the toll gate, in which she gave a dissenting opinion.
Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi, another youth representative, had criticised the decision to allow LCC repossess Lekki Toll Plaza, saying their views were not reflected in the panel’s ruling.
In her series of tweets on her verified handle @SavvyRinu, published Friday afternoon part of which reads, ” parties on the panel voted to reopen the toll, citing lost jobs as more important than justice for lost lives through a proceeding that didn’t form a proper quorum without the reps who represent the youth constituency that birthed the idea of the panel, and on whose mandates the panels were set up, Coupled with the undue intimidation of peaceful protesters, the cyber attacks accounts loyal to the government, and many more.”
She added: “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.
“For the first time, SARS victims have had the opportunity to be truly seen and heard by the government, by the public, and by the system that allowed them to be victims in the first place.”
Oduala said although the panel achieved “partial wins”, they are not sufficient, owing to the fact that the government has not acknowledged its failings.
She said: “The panel allowed victims of police intimidation and brutality to have their day in the light of justice. They got to expose the violence that was meted out, to experience some catharsis from having the government acknowledge its failures and, in many cases, are going to be receiving some compensation, however inadequate for the disruption to their lives.
“This is further than we have ever come as a nation, and while this same rigour was not applied to the case of the Lekki Toll shootings, we can at least celebrate the wins that our brothers and sisters can finally claim in their fight for justice, and recognise that our collective will is more powerful than any institution.
“However, partial wins are not enough for me. I decided to join this fight because I wanted the government to recognise its failures and work to overhaul its security institutions. I did not expect piecemeal acknowledgements and efforts to sabotage vital proceedings.”