- Protests receive global support
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to address issues raised by Nigerians in their protests against police inhuman treatment and extrajudicial killings in the country.
Rights activists, artistes and celebrities have taken to the streets in major cities protesting the actions and demanding the scrapping of the police Special Anti-armed Robbery Squad.
The protests have assumed a global dimension as many Nigerians in other countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, especially celebrities joined the campaign.
Apart from Nigeria, the #EndSARS hashtag has been trending in the UK, Canada, and the US.
British-Nigerian actor John Boyega expressed support for the campaign.
The President said in a statement he personally signed on Friday that he had with the IGP over the issue.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had earlier met with IGP Adamu on the same public outcry against SARS and expressed support for the immediate reform of the police unit starting with a ban on the stop-and-search patrols.
Buhari said, “I met again with the IGP tonight. Our determination to reform the police should never be in doubt.”
“I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people.”
He said he had ordered the IGP “to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses and ensure erring personnel are brought to justice.”
The President urged the people to exercise patience and be calm, assuring them of adequate protection and stressed that the majority of those in the Nigeria Police Force were patriotic and remained committed to the protection of the lives and property of Nigerians.
Nigerian musicians such as Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Runtown, Falz, Wulrd and DJ Spinal joined the anti-SARS street protests in Lagos
Award-winning actress Nse Ikpe-Etim has also tweeted to join Edward’s protest.
A professional athlete and owner of the first Black-owned cigar line in the UK Mike Edwards has said he would be leading a protest to Nigeria High Commission in London on Sunday.
The protests sweeping through many streets of Abuja and states like Lagos, Osun, Edo and Delta were against the extortion, illegal detention, and extra-judicial killings of Nigerians, mostly youths, by members of the police unit.
Specifically, the protesters are calling for the scrapping of the police’s notorious unit.
The protests followed the footage showing officers from the SARS police unit dragging two men from a hotel in Lagos and shooting one of them in the street.
In the disturbing footage taken by visitors at a hotel and posted on to social media armed officers of the SARS can be seen dragging the victims from the hotel compound into the street before one of the men is shot.
This has prompted the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to announce the ban of SARS and other tactical police units from stop-and-search patrols, nationwide.
Lagos announces 10-week traffic diversion on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
Lagos State Government has announced traffic diversion for 10 weeks on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway from the Old Tollgate to Berger section of the road.
The traffic diversion from Monday, January 30, 2023 to Friday, April 15, 2023, is in continuation of the ongoing rehabilitation work on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
This is contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde.
He however said going by the notification received, the construction would be carried out in short segments to minimise inconveniences for motorists while traffic on the Ibadan-bound carriageway would be narrowed to two lanes to allow for the reconstruction of half of the Ibadan-bound carriageway.
The commissioner explained that the U-turn in front of the Lagos State Emergency Centre will be temporarily closed to traffic, adding that motorists on the expressway will be diverted to the next U-turn at the Old Toll Gate by the traffic control point. In the same vein, Traffic from CMD Road intending to connect 7UP and Motorways on the Lagos bound carriageway will make use of the Old Tollgate/Traffic Point U–turn as well.
While emphasizing that trucks and heavy-duty vehicles will be diverted to Ojota Interchange, Oladeinde informed that traffic on CMD Road inbound the Expressway will be diverted to the entry point besides the FMW weighbridge to access the expressway on a contraflow as the exit route to the expressway by Caleb International School will equally be temporarily closed, adding that CMD Road will be used as an alternative for the displaced Ibadan bound traffic.
He appealed to the citizenry to shun indiscriminate stopping, waiting, and parking along CMD Road to complement the efforts of the Traffic Management Team deployed to manage vehicular movement.
He also said that signs showing directions would be mounted along the road to guide motorists.
Gunmen behead Imo council boss after N6m ransom
Gunmen have killed the sole administrator of Ideato North Local Government Area in Imo State, Chris Ohizu, two days after he was abducted.
Ohizu was abducted on Friday along with two other residents in his country home at Imoko in the Arondizuogu area.
The attackers also set his residence and vehicles ablaze.
The family of the late LGA boss was said to have paid N6m ransom to the gunmen to secure his release.
They reportedly collected the money and still went ahead to kill him.
Videos showing the battered head of the LGA boss appeared on social media in the early hours of Monday.
In one of the videos, the gunmen threatened to also attack the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, and other residents of the state.
Imo has witnessed a spate of violent attacks by gunmen in recent times .
The incident is coming some days after an about-to-wed couple was killed in Arondizogu, Ideato orth LGA.
Henry Okoye, Imo police spokesperson, said the police commenced investigation into the matter, adding that the command would soon release a statement on the incident.
CBN insists on Jan 31 deadline to phase out old naira notes
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says deadline for the old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 to cease to be legal tender remains January 31.
The Kano Branch Controller, CBN, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Biu, refused pleas from Nigerians to extend the deadline.
“The old naira notes will cease to be legal tender by January 31, 2023. Pay in your old banknotes to beat the rush,” he said.
The branch controller spoke during the apex bank’s sensitisation tour of the new naira notes in Kano metropolitan markets.
The sensitisation of the new banknotes was held in Wapa Bureau De Charge Market, Galadima, Sabon Gari, Kwari and Kofar Wanbai markets, organised principally for traders.
Ibrahim said the new naira notes had been produced enough for distribution to all the commercial banks in the country.
He threatened to slam sanctions on commercial banks hoarding the newly designed banknotes.
Reacting to complaints that the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were still dispensing the old naira notes, the CBN branch controller said the CBN has sent its staff to inspect bank’s ATMs to ascertain those still dispensing old notes for query.
He said the traders have the right to report any bank found either hoarding the new naira notes or charging customers before allowing them to deposit their old naira notes.
“You have the right to report any bank found hoarding the new naira notes or refuse to collect your old naira notes before the 31st January 2023 deadline.
“No bank should refuse to collect the old naira notes until the deadline of 31st January, 2023,” he said.
He told the audience that CBN has directed commercial banks to desist from payment of new naira notes on the counter, except through ATMs, as part of efforts to check favouritism of customers regarding the new currency.
“CBN agents are going round to ensure banks comply with the directive of dispensing the new notes via ATM,” he assured.
He explained that there is no limit to the amount of old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes one can deposit in their account.
He said the sensitisation was designed to enlighten the traders on the need to deposit the old notes before the deadline to avoid any loss.
He said the redesign of the naira notes was aimed at checking corruption and addressing inflation as well as boosting the nation’s economy.
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