The youth representatives on the Lagos Judicial Panel yesterday boycotts the panel sitting in protest of the Federal Government freezing the accounts of some protesters and organizations.
The panel was set up by the State to investigate the Lekki Toll-Gate Shooting and complaints of human rights abuse by the disbanded SARS operatives.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has received a court order to freeze the accounts of about 20 protesters and promoters of the EndSARS protests and some organizations who helped promote the protests.
The CEO of Anakle Editi Effiong, who was present at the venue pulled up a tweet which reads;
“The youth panel members are NOT here. They’re pulling out in protest as one of the members’ (@SavvyRinu) bank account was frozen by @cenbank.
The panel has adjourned til November 14, while that is being resolved.
10: 49 After Party! Mr. O is holding court.
His summary is that the govenment can’t be asking youth reps to come, promising to act in the #EndSARS demands and at the same time, punish protesters by blocking accounts.
Military team just left. pic.twitter.com/CplxBZ4zRg
— Editi Effiòng (@EditiEffiong) November 7, 2020
However, a senior lawyers, in a separate interview urged those whose accounts were frozen to proceed to court.
A former Second Vice President of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Mr Monday Ubani, said:
“ What is their crime?
Has protesting been declared a criminal offence under any enactment?
Is there any enactment that criminalised the protests by #EndSARS protesters?
Has there been any criminal law made either by the state or federal government?
If there is no such law that criminalised that particular act that took place, it is absolutely absurd for any government to freeze any person’s account.
The constitution says nobody can be made liable for any crime that is not written.
So if protests have not been criminalised, there is no basis for freezing anybody’s account.
It is clearly absurd to hold anybody liable for any crime that is not enacted. I am totally flabbergasted.
It is a suppression of rights. It amounts to suppression of rights by the government. It is an infringement on their fundamental human rights.
My happiness is that the judiciary will be up and doing in restoring the rights of those whose rights have been violated.
And I urge those whose rights have been infringed upon to approach the court.”