LAGOS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – One of the two youth members of aLagos state panel investigating police brutality and the deadlyshooting of protesters has resigned, she wrote in a tweet onFriday. Rinu Oduala, 22, cited “undue intimidation of peacefulprotesters” and the panel’s recent vote to re-open Lekki TollGate, where the Oct. 20 shootings took place, before the panelconcluded its investigation. “I will be stepping down from the Lagos Judicial Panel as itis now obvious that the government is only out to use us forperformative actions,” she said in a Tweet. A Lagos state government spokesman did not immediatelyrespond to a request for comment. Reuters could not reach thepanel for comment.It was not immediately clear whether the panel, whichconvened on Oct. 26, promising neutrality and justice, couldmove forward without both youth members. Thousands of Nigerians protested nationwide for nearly twoweeks last October, demanding an end to a police unit called theSpecial Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which they said wasresponsible for extortion and human rights abuses. The policedisbanded SARS, but denied most accusations. On Oct. 20, witnesses and groups such as AmnestyInternational said soldiers opened fire at protesters, killingsome. The military has denied shooting live rounds and thepolice have denied involvement. In the aftermath, the government directed each state toconvene a panel to investigate police brutality claims. TheLagos panel was also tasked with investigating the shootings.But protesters have since been detained, had bank accountsfrozen, and received threatening and harassing calls that theysay come from those linked to government. Nigeria’s information minister warned activists earlier thisweek to drop plans for a protest in Lagos over the reopening ofthe toll gate, saying it risked being “hijacked by hoodlums”.
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