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.
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.
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)
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.”
Controversies have trailed the ex parte order obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze the accounts of 20 individuals and an organisation linked to the #EndSARS campaign.
Many Nigerians especially youths have taken to social media to condemn the move by the apex bank.
Also, youth representatives at the Lagos judicial panel, who had expressed outrage decided to boycott their participation at the sitting on Saturday.
Rinu Oduala, a member of the panel is said to have been affected. The Lagos Judicial Panel adjourned its sitting till November 14th because members could not form a quorum.
The Nation had earlier reported that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja authorised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters with immediate effect.
The accounts are domiciled in Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Zenith Bank.
According to details of the order obtained by The Nation, the request, filed by the apex bank on October 20, was granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed.
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.
One of the EndSARS promoters whose account got frozen, Adegoke Pamilerin said, “My account has been frozen for over 2 weeks. Apparently CBN froze my account before they got a court order. Nigeria My Country, where the big and mighty do as they wish”
The Nation learnt that the court directed the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants and respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Many have condemned the move, describing it as an attempt to incite a second wave of #EndSARS protests across the country.
Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of all legitimate force against riotous and violent protests to protect lives and property of citizens.
Popular TV host, Frank Edoho, @frankedoho tweeted, “So this useless government is freezing the account of #EndSARS protesters. Young people came out peacefully to implore the leaders to terminate a section of the police responsible for murders and their response is to freeze accounts? This government contains old fools.”
Also, PDP Candidate for Lagos East Senatorial District, Babatunde Gbadamosi said, “Freezing the accounts of organisers of a peaceful protest is ECONOMIC TERRORISM by the CBN. Does Godwin Emefiele sanction the brutality of SARS?”
Activist Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong said, “Free advice to #EndSARS protesters whose bank accounts have been frozen: Before you go to court or take any legal action, apply for and obtain the CTC of the ex-parte motion with the affidavit and other processes filed by the CBN Governor.
@EiENigeria said, “The Nigerian government wants us, when faced with official actions with which we disagree, to obey and submit without daring to object. Case in view: seizure of passports, freezing of accounts by CBN, continued arrests of #EndSARS protesters, blame game, etc. #EnoughIsEnough”
Investigative journalist, @fisayosoyombo said, “The freezing of @Gatefieldco’s Journalism Fund account by @myaccessbank & Godwin Emefiele’s @cenbank is a disguised attack on press freedom. Because they funded journalists to cover police brutality stories? Did Gatefield start supporting public-interest journalism yesterday?… CBN has now become so idle that it’s most pressing mandate is chasing the court for an order to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a company that supported the #EndSARS movement. But ask them to strengthen the naira against the dollar and it’s mission impossible!
@ayosogunro said, “With every passing day, there is more reason for #EndSARS protest. Along with the original issues, now we protest against: #LekkiMassacre and #oyingbomassacre, freezing of protester’s bank accounts, seizing of protester’s passports, the unconstitutional ban on protests.