Updated: Scores killed as soldiers, police confront #EndSARS protesters, hoodlums
- Five police stations, one LG secretariat razed
Many people including policemen were killed on Tuesday in Lagos as soldiers opened fire on protesters in different parts of Lagos.
Violent attacks were also witnessed in other states in desperate moves by the police to quash nationwide protests being staged by youths against police brutality and bad governance, leaving dozens of people dead,
A report by The Punch put the number of casualties across the country at 49 including six policemen.
Four police stations and a local government secretariat were torched in Tuesday’s violence in Lagos. About five other police stations were vandalised.
Apart from the killings, several other people were seriously wounded as they were caught in the web of violence that took place at the Lekki toll plaza, Mushin, Orile and Ikorodu in Lagos.
For the Lekki incident, a BBC report quoted a witness who claimed he counted about 20 bodies and at least 50 injured after soldiers fired gunshots at the crowd of protesters.
The Punch account said armed soldiers allegedly shot at the #EndSARS protesters, leaving at least seven persons in the process.
This is based on a video recorded by an eyewitness, reposted on Instablog9ja.
“They have killed more than seven people that I have seen with my eyes. They were killed with real bullets and not even rubber bullets,” the recorder of the footage said.
Many protesters also reportedly sustained bullet wounds as a result of the attack that came after the streetlights on the premises were switched off and the CCTV disconnected.
Ironically before the shooting, two soldiers had visited the tollgate to pledge their support for the protest by the #EndSARS campaigners.
Some armed soldiers were later reportedly seen advancing from the Ozumba Mbadiwe axis after a blackout descended on the area and they started shooting into the air and at the protesters.
This created a chaotic situation and people started running to different directions.
In Mushin, the report indicated that 17 people lost their lives during a clash between hoodlums and policemen attached to the Olosan Division.
The hoodlums had reportedly barricaded the Oduwoye Junction in Mushin and denied the Divisional Police Officer at the Olosan Division and some policemen access to the route to a destination in the area.
In the process, it was learnt that there was a confrontation between the hoodlums and the policemen, who initially retreated but came back later with reinforcement.
Two policemen and three other persons were reportedly killed when the #EndSARS protesters, hoodlums and police attached to the Orile Police Division clashed in the Orile area of the state. The police station was also burnt.
One Bolaji who witnessed the incident said, “Around 9am, when the protesters got to the Orile Police Station, they were chanting #EndSARS and that they don’t want the Divisional Police Officer, popularly known as Iya Rainbow, to head the station again. There was a confrontation between the DPO and the people at the station.
“Annoyed by the development, the people clashed with the policemen and they went to get petrol and set the station ablaze.
“When the people at Pako area got to know that someone has been shot dead at Orile, it propelled them to burn the station at Pako.”
When the protesters learnt that three of their colleagues had been shot dead, there was a reprisal and two policemen reportedly died in the process.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the Lagos command, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement, said that the police formations burnt in the state were located in Orile, Layeni, Amukoko, and Cele outpost (under Ijesha division).
He also said the disbanded SARS office at Ajegunle and the Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government secretariat were burnt by suspected hoodlums.
In Ogun State, hoodlums killed an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Ogun Area Command I, and injured another during an attack on Customs men along Owode-Idiroko road on Tuesday.
In Oyo State, hoodlums were said to have used the #EndsSARS protest to burn down a police station in the Ojoo area of Ibadan. Five persons, including two policemen, were killed during the attack.
In Kano, eyewitnesses said four people were killed when hoodlums attacked #EndSARS protesters.
In Abia, two policemen were killed when angry youths set ablaze a police station on the Umuoba road and attacked another police station located near the popular Bata junction along Aba-Ikot Ekpene Expressway.
There was violence in Abuja when armed thugs attacked #EndSARS protesters in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja on Tuesday.
Lagos #EndSARS panel awards N10m to Kolade Johnson’s family
The Lagos judicial panel has awarded the sum of N10 million to the family of late Kolade Johnson.
Johnson was shot during a raid by police officers at Onipetesi area in Lagos, while watching an English premiership match between Tottenham and Manchester United on March 31, 2019.
The incident sparked outrage on social media, after which the police authorities identified Ogunyemi Olalekan, a police inspector, and Godwin Orji, a sergeant, as the officers involved in the shooting.
Following an orderly trial, Olalekan was dismissed from the force after he was found guilty, while Orji was acquitted.
Doris Okuwobi, chairman of the Lagos panel, announced the compensation at the sitting on Friday.
The award sum was received by the mother of the deceased.
Thirteen petitioners — including Johnson’s family — were compensated with a total of N83 million at the sitting on Friday.
Panel fines police N16m for killing teenager in Bayelsa
The Bayelsa State Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Other Related Matters has in a ruling on a petition awarded N16m against the police for extrajudicial killing of a teenager, late Innocent Kokorifa, in Yenagoa.
Innocent, who was 17 when he was shot dead by a trigger-happy officer in August 2016, was the son of Mr Daniel Kokorifa, a Federal Road Safety Corps official attached to the Rivers State Command.
Kokorifa, who is a native of Okpotuwari in the Southern Ijaw, Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, had in his petition numbered BYS/JPI/012/2020 prayed the panel to also consider the sum of N6m incurred since the brutal murder of his son.
The chairman of the panel, retired Justice Young Ogola, in the ruling awarded Kokorifa the sum of N16m in temporary compensation.
In another ruling, the panel also ordered the release of the corpse of another teenager, Emmanuel Victor, who was brutally killed by a policeman in 2011 in Yenagoa.
The panel further awarded the sum of N5m to the mother of the deceased 17-year-old, Grace Victor, for proper and decent burial of her son even though the culpable officer had been prosecuted and sentenced to death by hanging.
Ogola remarked that “there is no compensation for what was pronounced as vicarious liability or so; nothing that the policeman, who committed the crime, has already been sentenced to death.”
Similarly, the panel delivered judgments on over 13 petitions it received and awarded over N40m to the various petitioners in damages.
Trump acquitted in impeachment trial; 7 Republican senators vote with Democrats
The US Senate on Saturday voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection despite significant Republican support for conviction, bringing an end to the fourth impeachment trial in the country’s history and the second for Trump.
Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump for allegedly inciting the deadly January 6 riot at the Capitol, when a mob of pro-Trump supporters tried to disrupt the electoral vote count formalizing Joe Biden’s election win before a joint session of Congress.
That is by far the most bipartisan support for conviction in impeachment history. The final vote was 57 to 43, 10 short of the 67 votes needed to secure a conviction.
Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania all voted guilty.
The vote means the Senate cannot bar Trump from holding future federal offices.
Moments after the vote concluded, the former president issued a statement praising his legal team and thanking the senators and other members of Congress “who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.”
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it,” Trump said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the vote “the largest and most bipartisan vote in any impeachment trial in history,” but noted it wasn’t enough to secure a conviction.
The trial “was about choosing country over Donald Trump, and 43 Republican members chose Trump. They chose Trump. It should be a weight on their conscience today, and it shall be a weight on their conscience in the future,” he said in a speech on the Senate floor.
With control of the Senate split 50-50, the House managers always had an uphill battle when it came to convincing enough Republicans to cross party lines and convict a former president who is still very popular with a large part of the GOP base.
In his closing argument, House manager Joe Neguse, D-Colo, argued, “The stakes could not be higher. Because the cold, hard truth is that what happened on January 6 can happen again. I fear, like many of you do, that the violence we saw on that terrible day may be just the beginning.”
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin, D-Md., urged the senators to think of the future.
“Senators, this trial, in the final analysis, is not about Donald Trump. The country and the world know who Donald Trump is. This trial is about who we are, who we are,” Raskin said.
Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen, meanwhile, insisted his client did nothing wrong and maintained he was the victim of vengeful Democrats and a biased news media. He called the impeachment proceedings a “charade from beginning to end.”
The managers’ task became more difficult Saturday when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in an email to his colleagues that he would vote to acquit since Trump was already out of office.
“While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction,” the influential Kentucky Republican wrote in the email, which was obtained by NBC News.
McConnell, who’d rebuffed Democratic efforts to start the trial while Trump was still in office, had condemned Trump’s conduct after the riot and said he’d keep an open mind about voting to convict — something he’d ruled out entirely during Trump’s first impeachment trial last year.
After voting to acquit, McConnell blasted Trump for his “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and squarely laid the blame for the riot at Trump’s door in what amounted to an endorsement of many of the arguments laid out by House impeachment managers in a speech on the Senate floor.
“There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said.
McConnell had suggested in the email earlier in the day that Trump could still face other penalties.
“The Constitution makes perfectly clear that Presidential criminal misconduct while in office can be prosecuted after the President has left office, which in my view alleviates the otherwise troubling ‘January exception’ argument raised by the House,” he wrote.
Opening arguments began on Wednesday, with House managers blaming the riot on Trump’s months-long campaign to cast doubt on the 2020 election, and his repeated assertions that the only way he would lose was if the election was “stolen.”
They focused on his fiery speech on the morning of the Jan. 6 riot, where he urged his supporters to “fight like hell” — and his refusal to take action after they did.
Trump declined a request from managers to testify at the trial, and refused to even submit a statement for it, facts Raskin urged senators to keep in mind on Saturday.
“I ask any of you, if you were charged with inciting violent insurrection against our country, and you’re falsely accused, would you come and testify? I know I would,” Raskin said.
The trial was the fourth of an impeached president. No president has ever been convicted.
– NBC News
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