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US report says no evidence of massacre at Lekki tollgate

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A report just released by the United States Department of States says there is no verifiable evidence of killings of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, last year, over five months after the protest.

This is stated thiins in a report entitled: ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria’.

There had been reports and claims of massacre at the toll gate by the military during the protests by youths against the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and bad governance.

A special report by Cable News Network (CNN) had also said soldiers shot at protesters, killing many.

But the US report stated that accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available.

The report read in part, “Although the protests were allowed to proceed unimpeded in most places, civil society observers reported the arrest of some peaceful protesters in Lagos, Osun and Kano states on charges of conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace. All those arrested were released within days of their arrest.

“In October, #EndSARS protests were staged in states across the country to demand an end to police brutality. Demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some protests turned violent after criminal elements infiltrated the protests and security forces fired at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20.

“According to #EndSARS Legal Aid, by year’s end, a network of volunteer lawyers had secured the release of 337 protesters, but it was unable to confirm how many remained in detention.”

The report also stated, “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 organisation 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 tollgate. At year’s end, the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution continued to hear testimony and investigate the shooting at Lekki tollgate.”

On human rights abuses generally, the report asserted that there were reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary, unlawful, or extra-judicial killings.

On insurgency, the department noted that Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa continued attacks on “civilians, military, and police; recruited and forcefully conscripted child soldiers; and carried out scores of person-borne improvised explosive device attacks–many by coerced young women and girls–and other attacks on population centers in the Northeast and in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Abductions by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa continued.

“According to credible international organisations, prior to their dissolution, SARS units sometimes used torture to extract confessions later used to try suspects. President Buhari disbanded SARS units in October, 2020 following nationwide #EndSARS protests against police brutality.

“Of the states, 28 and the FCT (Federal Capital Territory) established judicial panels of inquiry to investigate allegations of human rights violations carried out by the Nigerian Police Force and the disbanded SARS units.”

The report also asserted that local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international human rights groups accused the security services of illegal detention, inhuman treatment, and torture of criminal suspects, militants, detainees and prisoners.

The report also condemned “unlawful and arbitrary killings by both government and non-state actors; forced disappearances by the government, terrorists, and criminal groups; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government and terrorist groups; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions.

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Abba Kyari’s Arrest, Extradition: FBI Agents Meet Nigeria’s Police IGP

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Officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have met with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba to demand the arrest and extradition of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari to the United States, SaharaReporters learnt.

 

According to a top source, four FBI agents met with the IGP on Thursday asking that Nigeria’s celebrated cop, Kyari be taken to the United States for interrogation over his role in the activities of suspected serial internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, more commonly known as Hushpuppi.

 

The source stated that the agents have returned on Friday (today) to ensure their demands are met, citing the urgency of the case.

 

He said, “FBI agents met with the IGP yesterday (Thursday) to demand Abba Kyari’s arrest and extradition to the United States citing the urgency of the case. Four FBI agents returned to the IG’s office this morning, they are there asking the IGP to release Kyari for interrogation.”

 

Meanwhile, as of Thursday night, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had ordered an internal review of the receipt of allegations and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation against Kyari.

 

This was contained in a statement issued by the force’s spokesperson, Frank Mba, on its Facebook page on Thursday night.

 

The force also stated that it is committed to the pursuit of justice and the strengthening of its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners.

 

It assured Nigerians to further communicate developments on the case to members of the public.

 

The statement read, “Sequel to the receipt of allegations and indictment processes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against one of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Abba Kyari, the Inspector General of Police IGP Usman Alkali Baba psc (+), NPM, fdc has ordered an internal review of the allegations.

 

“The Nigeria Police Force reaffirms its commitment to the pursuit of justice and the strengthening of its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners.

 

“Further developments on this case will be communicated to members of the public accordingly.”

 

Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track down Kyari and produce him in the United States for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud.

 

Abbas was arrested in Dubai last June and he pleaded guilty to fraud in the U.S. this week.

 

The FBI said Abbas and Kyari have been friends and were both involved in a conspiracy to launder money.

 

American prosecutors first sought a court warrant to arrest Kyari on February 12, 2021.

 

Another warrant was requested on April 29, 2021.

 

Judge Wright’s permission for the FBI to arrest Mr Kyari and hold him in U.S. custody was unsealed on July 26.

 

Hushpuppi had narrated how he bribed Kyari to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1 million dupe of a Qatari businessperson.

 

Abbas had asked Kyari to arrest and jail a fellow fraudster Kelly Chibuzor Vincent after both were locked in a dispute presumably over how to share the $1.1 million loot received from the Qatari businessperson.

 

Abbas had pleaded guilty to a multi-million fraud earlier this month and faces up to 20 years in jail.

 

He will be sentenced in the coming weeks and will forfeit some of his assets and his rights to appeal while also paying restitution to victims of his years-long fraud.

 

Kyari in a statement on Facebook has, however, dismissed the allegations of bribe.

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Buhari Meet British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Discuss Insecurity In Nigeria

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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, appraised the war against different forms of terrorism in Nigeria, and agreed that the judicial process be allowed to run its course.

 

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made this known in a statement on Thursday evening.

 

Adesina said the two leaders held a bilateral talks at the sidelines of the Global Education Summit in London where they agreed that it was important that the judicial process runs without interference, no matter who was involved.

 

According to Buhari’s spokesman, the president briefed the Prime Minister on Nigeria’s power needs and efforts being made, as well as initiatives geared at achieving food security in Nigeria.

 

President Buhari also reviewed the security situation in the different regions of the country, as PM Johnson pledged Britain’s preparedness to help Nigeria curb the deteriorating security situations.

 

PM Johnson said, “We are available to help.”

 

The two leaders equally discussed how to increase trade between the two countries, develop solar and wind power, leadership of the Commonwealth going forward and other matters of mutual interest.

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Tokyo2020: Okagbare, Nwokocha Qualify For 100m Semi Final

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For the very first time in nine years, two Nigerian athletes will be running in the semifinals of the women’s 100m after Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha qualified from their respective heats Friday in Tokyo, Japan, Newspremises reports.

 

Nwokocha had to run a new personal best of 11.00 seconds to secure her qualification to the semifinals in her debut at the Games.

 

The 20 year old has also moved into fifth in the Nigeria all-time list behind Okagbare (10.79), Glory Alozie (10.90) Mary Onyali (10.97) and Damola Osayomi (10.99).

 

The home-based athlete who ran 11.09 seconds to secure her qualification for the Olympics in March at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos will however need to make further history by breaking the 11 seconds barrier as the fifth Nigerian woman to do so to stand a chance of joining Onyali and Okagbare as debutants who ran all the way to the final of the event.

 

She has been drawn to run from lane nine in the third semifinal heat with the fastest woman alive, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, Daryl Neita of Great Britain, Teahna Daniels of the USA and fellow African, Muriel Ahoure of Ivory Coast.

 

While Nwokocha qualified for her first semifinal, Okagbare will be running in her third since she made her debut in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London. The 32 year old ran 11.05 seconds to win her first round heat.

 

She has been drawn in the first semifinal heat alongside two heavyweights of the event, defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica who ran 10.82 seconds to win her first round heat and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion two years ago in Doha, Qatar who ran 11.07 seconds to come second in her first round heat.

 

The 2008 Beijing Olympics Long Jump silver medallist will be in action at exactly 11.15 am Nigerian time on Saturday.

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