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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)

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Police Occupy Lekki Tollgate To Stop Planned Second Protest Scheduled For Tomorrow |RN

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Police officers at the Lekki tollgate

By Ike A. Offor

The Nigeria police officers set to foil the intended protest at Lekki tollgate scheduled for tomorrow. They dressed up and ready for any situation. The officers seem to have come mainly from the Lagos state Rapid Response Squad, RRS

The officer are seen armed with teargas cannisters, guns and other weapons and riot gears. How they are planning to stop the protesters is something that is yet to be seen.

The police officers gathered at the intended venue for the protest and have  their trucks for carrying prisoners in case there is violence or they found it worthy to make arrests.

It s still very unclear if that would deter the Nigerian youths who were determined in the last #EndSARS protest and defied all odds to express their anger against the special police squad known as SARS.

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FG Won’t Allow Second Protest At Lekki Tollgate —Lai Mohammed |The Republican News

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

By Godsgift Onyedinefu

The federal government on Thursday warned that it will not allow another EndSars protest in the country and Nigerians planning to protest at the Lekki Toll Gate this weekend should desist from it.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who gave the hint at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, said that allowing the protest could trigger another round of uncontrolled destruction of lives and property.

Minister for information and culture speaking planned second protest at Lekki tollgate

Mohammed said: “No government anywhere will allow a repeat of the kind of destruction, killing and maiming wrought by the hijackers of EndSars protests last year.

“After all, only one policeman – (plus four others) – was killed in the invasion of the US Capitol in January, yet the FBI has continued to hunt down and prosecute the perpetrators. No life is more important than the other.

“The Federal Government is also keenly watching the role being played by the various social media platforms in this renewed clamour for violence in the country.

“Recall that the social media platforms that eagerly nudged on the EndSars protesters, until the situation got out of hand, are the same ones that quickly pulled the plug on even their own President when the chips were down in their own country.

“I hope we have all learnt our lessons. If we allow them to destroy our country, we will bear the brunt,” the minister said.

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BREAKING: Court Orders Banks To Unfreeze Accounts Of EndSARS Promoters -|The Republican News

By Fikayo Olowolagba

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the unfreezing of accounts belonging to some promoters of the End SARS protest.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who gave the ruling on Wednesday, ordered all affected banks to “immediately defreeze the affected accounts of End SARS promoters.”

Justice Mohammed proceeded to strike out the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020 filed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Recall that the ex-parte order to freeze the accounts for 180 days was made on November 4, 2020.

The court’s decision was reportedly informed by the withdrawal of all processes filed in relation to the suit by lawyers to all parties.

At the commencement of proceedings, former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), who appeared for the CBN Governor and Femi Falana (SAN), for those affected by the freezing order resolved to withdraw all the processes filed.

This is to ensure the unhindered progress of the ongoing process of reconciliation, at the various panels of enquiry on police brutality across the nation. (Daily Post)

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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

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#EndSARS: DJ Switch To Speak To International Criminal Court Today |The Republican News

By Arogbonlo Israel

DJ Switch, a Nigerian female disc jockey, says she’ll be addressing the International Criminal Court (ICC) today, 17th December, 2020 over the #EnSARS protests that greeted the country in October.

Her words; “Tomorrow 17th of December 2020, I will be speaking at the 19th assembly of states parties to the International Criminal Court.

“I know we are all experiencing hardship one way or the other, I know it seems like no one cares enough for Nigeria and Africa to help us fight our oppressors. but this is the generation that does not take NO for an answer! So let me tell you straight up, it will take time… Maybe a long time.”

“So what do we have to lose that we already did not have? Security? Jobs? A working health system? What do we have to lose? Don’t give up! I told you… I’m not great at social media and updates but we are fighting seriously behind the scenes, something will definitely give,” she wrote.

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Lagos State Lekki Toll Gate CCTV Doctored, Vital Pictures Missing — CNN Questions The Republican News|

#Endsars Lekki Toll Gate protesters

CNN has criticized the Lagos State government’s security camera footage of the Lekki toll gate shooting, saying “the Lagos State government’s security camera footage did not capture everything” and queried why “surveillance video from the evening does not provide a more complete picture.”

The international media organisation had last week released an investigative report that alleged that the Nigerian army used live bullets on protesters during its intervention in the #EndSARS protest at Lekki tollgate in Lagos state.

In its latest report, the media outfit said “the footage corroborates the timings CNN reported for the gunshots fired by the army. It also shows soldiers approaching protesters and firing shots.”

CNN said it obtained a copy of the CCTV footage ahead of the Justice Doris Okuwobi Lagos judicial panel’s sitting on Saturday which was set up to investigate cases of brutality by members of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) and other police abuses. as well as the Lekki shooting incident.

“What is perhaps most notable is what’s missing, at 6:47 p.m., the moment when CNN has video of the army appearing to fire directly at protesters, the surveillance camera pans away from the area.

“The surveillance camera pans left and tilts up before reframing and struggling for focus. It is unclear if the camera pans away deliberately or whether the pan away is a poor choice by the CCTV operator,” CNN’s latest report read.

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the firm that operates the toll gate had previously testified before the panel and said its staff were sent home before an evening curfew, and also said the cameras at the tollgate stopped recording from 8 pm on October 20.

CNN also accused Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, the Commander of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army of providing contradicting testimonies to the judicial panel.

“For the protection of the force, we carried live bullets in case they were attacked. But the soldiers who formed the firing team, who fired as you could see in the video […] carried magazines charged with blank ammunition,” General Taiwo said.

On Monday, the Nigerian government called out CNN in a petition demanding an “immediate and exhaustive investigation” into its report on the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate to determine its authenticity.

The country’s Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed also warned that the government reserved the right to prevent CNN from “aggravating the #EndSARS crises with unprofessional, irresponsible reporting” that could set the country on fire.

By Abel Ejikeme

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BREAKING NEWS: UK Parliament Invokes Sanctions On Nigerian Officials Over Lekki Shooting |The Republican News

British House of Commons

In an outright condemnation of police brutality and killing of unarmed protesters, members of the U.K Parliament on Monday unanimously called for selected sanctions against Nigerian government officials and military officers who participated in human rights violation during the #EndSARS protest.

The debate which was based on an e-petition calling for sanctions against the Nigerian government signed by over 200,000 was supported by all parliamentarian when it was deliberated at the Westminster Hall on Monday evening.

All chamber members spoke across ideological divides to condemn the U.K. Government for standing neutral while the Nigerian government violated young protesters.

Citing the shootings at Lekki, Oyigbo, Delta as well as the unjust victimization of protesters after the protest and the freezing of protesters accounts, parliamentarians described President Buhari’s administration as nothing short of a dictatorship.

Members agreed that state actors and their family members should not have access to the freedom, liberty and security they deny their citizens at home in the UK.

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#EndSARS: Cooperate Affairs Commission Deregisters Firm Linked To Protest Promoters |The Republican News

Cooperate Affairs Commission complex


The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), responsible for the incorporation of organisations and businesses in Nigeria, has announced the cancellation of the registration of Enough is Enough, a business organisation linked to one of the leaders of the #EndSARS protest.


“Further to cancellation of the Business Name registration “Enough is Enough BN 2210728”, the Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to inform the public that the proprietors of the cancelled Business name are:
OPAYEMI ADAMOLEKUN and BISOLA EDUN,” the CAC wrote Wednesday afternoon.


“The name was cancelled based on the provisions of section 579 (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).”
Ms Adamolekun, an activist, is the head of a non-governmental organisation, EiE, and is believed to be, alongside the NGO, the main target of the CAC.


The EiE, also called Enough is Enough Nigeria, began operations in January 2011 but was formally registered in July 2012.
The organisation has advocated against human rights violations in the past and actively participated in the #EndSARS protest against police brutality and the excesses of its Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).


The CAC first announced its decision on Tuesday.
In a couple of tweets on Tuesday evening, the CAC announced the de-registration of the business, with immediate effect, stating that the name is deceptive.
“Based on the provisions of Section 579 (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, (CAMA), the Corporate Affairs Commission has cancelled the registration of the Business name “Enough is Enough BN 2210728” with immediate effect.”


The above section provides, amongst others, that the commission has the power to cancel the registration of a Business Name where the name is “deceptive or objectionable.”
According to the government agency, EiE was registered in 2012 to engage in General Contracts, Sales of Sport Equipment/Promotion but has “deviated from its main objectives over the course of time.”


“Consequently, the Commission has removed it from its database and advised the proprietors to surrender the certificate earlier issued to them,” the statement read.
The CAC, however, showed no evidence that the Enough is Enough business deviated from its registration purpose.


Separate registration
Checks by PREMIUM TIMES, however, show that the deregistered business was registered separately from the EiE.
The business cancelled has the registration certificate number (RC) 2210728 and was registered on June 4, 2012, while the NGO was registered as a company limited by guarantee and has its RC as 1047750 and was registered a month later.
The EiE clarified its status in a tweet. The human rights organisation said it was registered as “The EiE Project Ltd/Gte” with RC 1047750 as against what was circulated by CAC.
“A big thank you to those who have reached out & spoken up for us!” the organisation wrote on Twitter, attaching its certificate.


Discrepancies
Although the CAC has before now notified the public about organisations with erroneous registration, this is the first time it is sharing the details across its social media platforms.
Also, the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on new media, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted about the de-registration, suggesting it was something supported or being monitored by the presidency.


“The CAC Nigeria has cancelled the registration of the Business Name ‘Enough is Enough’ with immediate effect. The EiE which was registered in 2012 to engage in General Contracts, Sales of Sport Equipment deviated from its main objectives over the cause of time, the CAC tweeted,” Mr Ahmad on Twitter.


However, checks revealed that the commission may have used a repealed law to deregister the organisation.
The CAC referenced section 579(2) of the old Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 (and its amendments), which has been repealed by section 869(1) of the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, which was signed by the President on 7 August 2020. The new law came into force on that day.
“Subject to the provision of this section, the Companies and Allied Matters (Amendment) Act 1990, the Companies and Allied Matters (Amendment) Act, 1991, the Companies and Allied Matten (Amendment Act, 1992 are, on the commencement of this Act, repealed,” the new law says.


Nonetheless, when contacted for clarification, Laraba Shuaibu, the spokesperson of the CAC she said she is not aware of the de-registration of any company.
“I’m not aware of it,” she said via telephone.


Clampdown?
The de-registration comes at a time the federal government has taken repressive actions against protesters and promoters of the #EndSARS campaign.
Recently, the passport of a lawyer, Modupe Odele, was seized by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), preventing her from travelling abroad. It was returned days after the service said it has concluded its investigations.
Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) obtained an ex parte order to freeze the accounts of 20 individuals and an organisation linked to the #EndSARS campaign.


According to details of the order obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the request, filed by the apex bank on October 20, was granted by Ahmed Mohammed, a judge.
The court order was addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank.
Amongst those affected are Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.
Gatefield Nigeria Limited, owners of Gatefield, an advocacy group that supported the media coverage of the protest by providing funds to journalists, had its Access Bank account frozen.


In addition, several persons have been illegally detained by the police in Lagos, Osun and the FCT without trial. These actions have, however, been largely condemned by activists and legal experts across the country. (Premium Times)

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DJ Switch Seeks Asylum In Canada Over Threats After Lekki Massacre, Appears Before Parliament |The Republican News

DJ Switch, Obianuju


By Eunice Obaah

DJ Switch is seeking asylum in Canada following her testimony on the Lekki Toll Gate massacre.

A report by News Wire stated that DJ Switch has appeared before the Sub-committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Canadian Parliament, where she spoke about her ordeal during and after the #EndSARS protests.

A post by Dr. Kemi Olunloyo on social media also confirms that DJ Switch is already in asylum hearings in Canada.

She revealed in her statement that the soldiers insisted they were working under strict instructions.

See the screenshot;

Saharareporters reports that she told the Canadian parliament that she counted not less than seven persons shot, adding that one of the soldiers threatened to shoot her.

She said this about the October 20 incident:

“On October 20, 2020, we had spirited Nigerians there united with one goal against police brutality against bad governance. What started out as a protest against police brutality with the unit called SARS, unfortunately, degenerated into something I still find hard to reconcile within my heart.

We got information that the government wants to see me and six other people and I remember saying to them that we have no leader and if the government wanted to speak with us, he should kindly come to the toll gate and address Nigerians because we have been out for eleven days.


As we didn’t know where the gunshots were coming from and what they are about and then the lights went off.

I remembered the military came in first, they stopped shooting at some point and I walked up to one of them and I asked why he was shooting at us and he said he had express order from above, and I was coming too close to him and if I come too close, it would be considered an attack on him and he would have to shoot.

It didn’t take another ten minutes, the shooting started again. I remember seeing seven people that have been shot down and we were telling people on my live Instagram to help us call an ambulance.”

“I have been on the move because they have been after my life. The first threat came in, I thought it was a joke, I sincerely thought it was a joke. Just as I was leaving, I got a phone call that I should leave the vicinity because there are military men at the hospital.

I had to abandon my home, I moved from people’s home, and then just to get out of Nigeria. I am still travelling, and I am not done with my trip.”

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