Image

EndSARS:US Government Faults Claims That Nigerian Army Killed Protesters At Lekki Tollgate|RN

■Acknowledges formation of Judicial Panels afterwards

The United States government has exonerated the Nigerian Army of any killings during the #ENDSARS protests in Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State on October 20, last year.

According to the just released US Department of State’s 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria, it noted that the US government did not believe that Nigerian soldiers killed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate incident.

Following the Lekki incident, some Nigerians on Social media had falsely claimed that the Nigerian Army had opened fire on unarmed protesters who had gathered at the Lekki toll gate, killings several protesters.

The Nigerian army rejected these claims, stating that soldiers only fired blank bullets, and not live bullets into the crowd of protesters.

However, despite evidence from the Nigerian Army that it had fired only blank bullets, many critics kept up the narrative with sensational hashtags like #LekkiMassacre #LekkiGenocide.

The US report also rubbishes the claims by several international media and organizations like Amnesty International and Cable News Network (CNN) that many had died during the Lekki tollgate incident.

The US government also acknowledged the formation of the Judicial Panels to investigate cases and complaints of SARS and police brutality. Following the #EndSars protests, the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had recommended the establishment of state-based judicial panels of inquiry to also ensure justice for victims and families affected.  Eventually more than 30 States including the FCT set up such panels and some redress already being put in places.

In the section titled, “Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and other Unlawful or Politically Motivated Killings”, the report gave a background to the Lekki incident, but stated categorically that “no other organization was able to verify the claim” that some persons had died during the incident.

The report read, “On October 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end.

“Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organization was able to verify the claim. The government reported two deaths connected to the event. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma. A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds.  The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate. At year’s end the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution continued to hear testimony and investigate the shooting at Lekki Tollgate.”

The US report added that, “demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some protests turned violent after criminal elements infiltrated the protests and security forces fired at protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20.” (Vanguard News Nigeria)

Continue reading
Image

Peter Okoye Clashes With Kenechukwu Okeke Over Opening Of Lekki Tollgate |The Republican News

Singer Peter Okoye and human rights activist, Kenechukwu Okeke, clashed on Twitter on February 7, over the reopening of the Lekki toll gate.

The Lagos state panel of Inquiry on Saturday, February 6, gave the Lekki Concession Company LCC the go-ahead to repossess the tollgates that have been shut down since the October 20 gunshot incident.

Reacting via his Twitter handle, Peter who is against the move, wrote

”If una like make una go hand over lekki tollgate to Jesus! No justice NO LCC #EndSARS #NoMoreTollGate”

Activist, Kenechukwu who made news last year when he sued Davido, Pastor Adeyemi, Aisha Yesusfu, and others over their involvement in the EndSARS protest, kicked against Peter Okoye’s position to the reopening of the tollgate. He wrote

”My attention has been brought to the antics of one Mr. Peter Okoye

@PeterPsquare whose shenanigan is to incite riots, and breach of public peace. One begins to wonder why a private citizen would constitute himself as being superior to a Tribunal established by law.”

Responding to Kenechukwu’s tweet, Peter wrote

”Use that your attention and wipe that your dirty asshole!”

Continue to see their exchange below

Continue reading
Image

#EndSARS: Soldiers Who Shot Protesters Must Face The Law, US Officials Tell Osinbajo |The Republican News

US Diplomats visits Vice president Osinbajo

Senior officials of the United States Government on Thursday met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and expressed displeasure over the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza on Tuesday.

The US also demanded that the soldiers behind the shootings must be brought to book.

The Spokesperson for the State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said in a statement that the officials were led by Counselor of the US State Department, Ulrich Brechbühl.

Others at the meeting include: Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali.

The officials, according to the statement, raised concerns over the ongoing violence in Nigeria as well as human rights violations and human trafficking.

The statement read in part, “Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbühl met with Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo today in Abuja, Nigeria as part of a previously scheduled delegation, which included Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali, to raise US concerns about ongoing violence in Nigeria, human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons, and to hear from senior Nigerian government officials how they are addressing those issues.

“The counselor expressed the US condemnation of the use of excessive force by military forces that fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos. He expressed condolences to the victims of these shootings and urged the government of Nigeria to abide by its commitment to hold those responsible accountable under the law.”

According to the statement, Osinbajo as well as the counselor noted that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles.

“Counselor Brechbühl and Vice President Osinbajo emphasised the importance of US and Nigerian collaboration on common goals of improving security cooperation and strengthening economic partnership to foster mutual prosperity,” the statement read.

The Nigerian Army had on Wednesday denied that soldiers were at the toll plaza despite video evidence showing soldiers shooting.

Continue reading
Image

BREAKING NEWS: Angry Mob Set NPA Headquarters In Lagos On Fire |The Republican News

The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) building has been set ablaze by hoodlums protesting the killing of peaceful young protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on Tuesday night.

Details later…

Continue reading