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#EndSARS: CNN shrugs off FG threat, releases another report

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In brazen show of audacity, global television station, Cable News Network, has released another report on the alleged shootings by Nigerian soldiers at Lekki toll plaza during the recent #EndSARS protests.
This is coming less than 24 hours after the Nigerian government had forwarded a petition to the CNN head office, complaining about the first report on the incident and demanding an unreserved apology with a threat of a legal action.
The Minister of Information and Culture,  Lai Mohammed, had last week faulted the CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings, describing it as poor journalism.
Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN.
The network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.
The CNN report also highlighted the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
The fresh report showed protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.
The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.
The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.
In a lengthy report published on CNN website, the media organisation stated it obtained a copy of the CCTV footage ahead of the Lagos panel’s sitting last Saturday, which it claimed matched and verified the footage published as part of an investigation last week on the events.
Part of the report read, ”The footage corroborates the timings CNN reported for the gunshots fired by the army. It also shows soldiers approaching protesters and firing shots.
”What is perhaps most notable is what’s missing.
”At 6:47pm, the moment when CNN has video of the army appearing to fire directly at protesters, the surveillance camera pans away from the area.”

UK lawmakers want violators of protesters’ rights sanctioned

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom parliamentarians have recommended sanctions against government officials and security agents who abused the rights of #EndSARS demonstrators last month.

The UK lawmakers, while considering a petition signed by 220, 000 signatories in the aftermath of the alleged shooting of protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, expressed lack of confidence in Nigeria’s handling of the incident.

They therefore vowed to launch an independent investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the alleged shooting.

They passed the resolutions the same day the Nigerian government wrote to the United States-based global CNN over last Wednesday’s airing of a report on the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate.

The UK parliamentarians condemned the alleged attack on unarmed persons at Lekki yollgate by soldiers, pointing out that the proposed sanctions should not be mere rhetoric but must be carried out sooner than later.

The lawmakers said, “No action can replace the lives that have been lost, but that doesn’t mean we cannot take actions.

“We know that these individuals come here and use our banks, so we are in a unique position to do something.”

In the petition started by one Silas Ojo, a Nigerian, the petitioners charged the UK government to impose sanctions on individuals in the Nigerian government and police officers involved in human rights abuses.

 

 

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FG demolishes illegal structures on Apapa-Oshodi expressway

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By Dada Jackson

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has demolished illegal structures on the Right of Way, (RoW) around Toyota Bus Stop, near the popular Ladipo auto part market on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, Lagos

Briefing journalists at the demolition site, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, said the demolition exercise became inevitable, considering the fact that the traders were given enough notice by the ministry to vacate the place but failed to do so.

He said, “The traders were given an initial two weeks’ notice to vacate the corridor but they ignored it. Afterwards, they were given another two weeks but still the illegal occupants turned a deaf ear. After the expiration of the final notice, the ministry had no option but to apply he full force of the law.”

According to him, only the Minister of Works and Housing has the statutory right to grant anybody to occupy the Right of Way, adding that none of the traders along the corridor was granted the ROW.

Popoola said that the items confiscated by the task force could only be retrieved by the traders after they must have signed an undertaking never to encroach on the Right of Way again.

The controller said that it would not be ‘business as usual’, adding the reclaimed RoW would be beautified to further make Lagos a place of pride.

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Ndume: Amnesty for bandits may produce another form of criminality

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Senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has said giving amnesty to bandits will encourage other criminal groups to take up arms.

He stated this when he featured on a Channels Television Programme on Sunday.

There has been controversy whether there should be negotiations with bandits, following a request by an Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, that the Federal Government should offer “blanket amnesty” to them.

But Ndume, in his reaction to the issue, said, “I don’t think blanket amnesty is the solution, because if you do that, another form of criminality may emerge, hoping that the government will bring them to the negotiation table.

“I think the carrot-and-stick approach should be used in dealing with this kind of situation. We have to find out the root of the causes of this banditry were witnessing in the north-west particularly — the army of herders and people that are involved in this.

“The government, I think as a matter of emergency, should form a committee of eminent people or those people that can reach out and get to the root causes of this issue.”

The senator also called for a speedy justice system for the prosecution of suspected bandits, adding that it will help to discourage other such persons.

“A holistic approach should be kick-started to address this problem, and I believe that it can be done with all manner of seriousness. Time isn’t on our side, and more are coming in,” Ndume said.

“The other thing is that the system must invoke a fast justice system, where justice will be dispensed. I’ve said it several times that you see people paraded, and that would be the end of it. It seems that it’s a big network that must be busted by the government. And the earlier that is done, the better.”

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Zamfara working with repentant bandits to get abducted girls released – Matawalle

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  • Says Nigerians will be shocked by those behind the abduction
  • Aviation minister leads FG delegation to state

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, on Sunday said revelations about those behind the attack on Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jangebe last Friday and abduction of over 300 students will shock Nigerians.

He stated this just he told a high powered Federal Government’s delegation led by o the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, that the state government was working with repentant bandits to secure the release of the abducted schoolgorls.

The governor, while speaking on Sunday when 17 Emirs in the state paid him a sympathy visit over the abduction of the schoolgirls, said Nigerians would be shocked to know people behind the abduction of the girls.

Also during the visit, the Emir of Anka and Chairman of Zamfara state Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Anka, berated the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over the upsurge in killings and kidnappings by bandits in the country.

Gunmen on Friday had attacked GGSS Jangede, and abducted over 300 girls, while seven of the girls escaped while they were being taken into the bush.

This happened about two weeks after bandits abducted 27 students and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.

Before the attack in Kagara, bandits had struck in Kundu village, also in Niger State and abducted passengers of the state transport service bus.

Commenting on the rising insecurity in the country, the Emir of Anka blamed the Federal Government.

He said, “The Federal Government is in total control of the security operatives in the country and not the state governors, as such the President is the one who has failed to address the issue of insecurity.”

In his response, Matawalle thanked the Emirs for the solidarity visit and assured them that he would not abandon his peace accord with the bandits no matter what the people would say.

He said, “Many people will be surprised to hear those people behind the abduction of these innocent children.”

“They are not comfortable with the progress I am getting as a result of my peace initiative and they want to do all they can to sabotage my efforts”.

“I will insha Allah succeed at the end of the day and they will bury their faces in shame,” said the governor.

Delivering a speech on behalf of the President, Sirika said the Federal Government was deeply concerned with the abduction at the GSSS Jangebe.

He stated, “The President is deeply concerned and worried about the abduction of students in Zamfara State and other states where such incidents occurred.”

Responding, the governor said the abducted students would be released soon.

He said the state government was working with repentant bandits to facilitate the safe rescue of the schoolgirls.

“We are using the leaders of the repentant bandits to rescue the schoolgirls from the kidnappers. Very soon, we are going to witness the release of the abductees,” he said.

Matawalle added that his administration “is going to continue with peace process with bandits, considering its impact in addressing security challenges facing the state”.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sending the delegation to symphathise with the state.

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