Tag Archives: Lekki Massacre

EndSARs: Lagos Gov decries police brutality against Lekki protesters.

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The managing director of the LCC also stressed that an estimated N2.5 billion worth of assets were lost to the violent protest.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, condemned the alleged brutality against protesters at the Lekki tollgate. The governor, therefore, ordered the state’s Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, to investigate the incident.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, disclosed this at a joint briefing by the state government and the Lekki Concession Company in Lagos. He reiterated that Lagos State government, under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would never trample on people’s rights.

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Meanwhile, making clarification on some issues, Managing Director, Lekki Concession Company (LCC), Yomi Omomuwasan, who spoke on alleged use of the firm’s operational vehicle to convey protesters at the tollgate, said that the vehicle was donated to the police to assist them as a logistical support.

He said: “We have operational vehicles. One of them is that donated to the police to assist them in their logistics support. On some people wearing LCC logo vests, remember that is our site and we have our men working around there but we didn’t engage in arresting people. We don’t have the power.”

Omomuwasan said the request to reopen the tollgate from the judicial panel of inquiry was based on the fact that the firm needs to assess the worth of the volume of valuables that was lost to the October 20, 2020 violent protest with the aim of getting the necessary insurance cover. He stressed that the reopening was not to immediately start tolling on the facilities.

The managing director of the LCC also stressed that an estimated N2.5 billion worth of assets were lost to the violent protest.

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“As of 2011, we had N24 billion owned by local lenders and N49 billion borrowed from the International Development Bank. We need to bring a formal report of assessment of the damage back to our lenders because when you don’t pay, you are blacklisted. The claims could be verified. Assets would require a team of engineers both within and outside to do critical assessment. We need to do civil and electrical works, which cannot be completed within three months.

He also denied claims that the firm refused to give its full consideration to the forensic investigators from the judicial panel of inquiry, adding that all the needed support according to demand were rendered.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Policemen to remain at Lekki toll gate – CPR.

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The arrest was acquainted with protesters constituting nuisance in the community and neglecting the federal government’s order and directive to shelve any proposed protest on the said date.

Lagos Police Command Public Relations Officer Muyiwa Adejobi said officers would stand by at the Lekki Toll Gate until further notice.

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Muyiwa said this while speaking to newsmen stating that the directive is from the state’s Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu.

According to him, Police officers have been deployed to five different locations of the state.

He said, “Our policemen are still at the tollgate, it is a deployment, and we are working with an operation order, and until there is a stand-down order of the operation from the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, the men will still be there. We have not arrested anyone today; there was no law and order breakdown, no gathering or procession, everything is normal in the area.

“But we are still maintaining our ground there, and we have deployment in about five places aside from the Lekki tollgate, and our men are still on standby at these strategic places. We have police deployment in Unity Park, Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ogombo Junction, Adeniran Ogunsanya Junction, among others.

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Recall with NoRM that the Nigeria Police arrested about 40 #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #DefendLagos protesters on the 13th of February, 2021, and also released them the same day.

The arrest was acquainted with protesters constituting nuisance in the community and neglecting the federal government’s order and directive to shelve any proposed protest on the said date.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Lagos CP orders immediate release of Mr Macaroni.

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CP Odumosu ordered that about 35 persons arrested in connection to #OccupyLekkiProtest be released immediately.

The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu has ordered the immediate release of End SARS protesters.

Recall with NoRM that the protesters alongside Instagram comedian, Mr Macaroni were arrested at the Lekki toll gate on Saturday morning.

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The suspects were detained at Area J police command, Elemoro, Ibeju Lekki.

According to NoRM‘s known Media, CP Odumosu ordered that about 35 persons arrested in connection to #OccupyLekkiProtest be released immediately.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Over 18 persons nabbed in fresh protest.

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Some of the arrested suspects denied being protesters, insisting they were just going about their businesses when they were picked up.

At least 23 persons, including passersby, have been arrested by operatives of the Lagos Police Command deployed to the Lekki Tollgate.

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The operatives, who were deployed to the location since Friday, were seen chasing and arresting anyone they considered a protester.

Those arrested were alleged to be members of the #OccupyLekkiTollgate and #ENDSARS2 groups who vowed to protest in spite of warnings by the Lagos State and Federal Governments.

NoRM reports as at 10 am, the tollgate was occupied by journalists and security operatives with no protesters in sight.

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Earlier, some of the policemen were seen chasing a young man, who was walking towards Lekki.

As soon as they caught him, he was thrown into a waiting Black Maria.

Some of the arrested suspects denied being protesters, insisting they were just going about their businesses when they were picked up.

Disturbed at the way the policemen were chasing and arresting random people, some of the journalists approached the senior officers on the ground and were assured those who could identify themselves or explain why they were around the area would be released.

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Meanwhile, the #DefendLagos group led by Alabi Oladimeji, has suspended its counter-protest scheduled for the #Lekkitollgate this morning.

At the time of this report, more police deployments have been sent at the Lekki and Ikoyi Tollgates while a vigorous convoy patrol is being carried out across the state.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Mr Macaroni has been arrested. (Reactions).

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Nigerian comedian Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr. Macaroni, has been arrested by personnel of the Nigerian Police Force at the on-going #OccupyLekkitollgate protest in Lagos.

He was seen detained in a Black Maria in a live video on his Instagram page.

Video

Mr Macaroni arrested with other protesters during #occupylekkitollgate rally.

This incident has generated lots of reactions and below are some:

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Lagos Gov’t reminds Protesters others’ rights.

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The state, however, urged the Nigeria Police that in responding to any protest, its officers should respect the rights of the citizen as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution and carry out their duties in accordance with the law.

The Lagos State Government, yesterday, reminded those planning another #EndSARS protests in the state to be mindful of the rights of other citizens of the country, stressing that government will do everything in its powers to safeguard the residents

In a statement issued by Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), said while the state recognised the rights to peaceful protests, demonstrators should not block roads and deny other members of the public their fundamental rights to free movement within the state.

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He said any person or group of persons planning to organise protests should bear in mind the exigencies of the COVID-19 health regulations 2021, which prevents any gathering beyond 50 persons and other safety measures including, but not limited to maintaining social distancing and use of face masks.

“Our attention has been drawn to the planned protest scheduled for Saturday, February 13, 2021, at the Lekki Toll Gate for and against the opening of the Admiralty Toll Gate.

“The State is aware of Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. However, such right does not permit violation of the rights of other citizens in the state,” the statement reads.

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The state, however, urged the Nigeria Police that in responding to any protest, its officers should respect the rights of the citizen as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution and carry out their duties in accordance with the law.

MEANWHILE, the Federal Government, yesterday, said security forces had been placed on alert to deal with the planned protest being organised by #EndSars campaigners scheduled for Saturday, February 13, 2021.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government received intelligence report that the protests would be hijacked to cause violence and warned that the government would not watch hoodlums unleash another mayhem on the country.

In a statement issued in Abuja titled: Perpetration Of Violence Under The Guise Of #ENDSARS: Never Again, the minister disclosed that it was aware of the Occupy Lekki Toll Gate flyers circulating online, with the proponents threatening that Lagos would burn again.

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Mohammed said while peaceful protests remained the constitutional rights of Nigerians, violent protests were not, adding: “This time, chances that any peaceful protest will be hijacked are high.

“Based on intelligence available the Federal Government, some activists have networked with others outside Nigeria, including subversive elements, with a view to destabilising the country. We cannot allow this to happen.”

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: FG issue warnings to #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters.

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He said the chances that any peaceful protest would be hijacked at this time were very high.

The Federal Government on Thursday warned those planning a fresh #EndSARS protest at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos on Saturday to desist.

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It said it would not allow any further resort to violence in the name of #EndSARS protest.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, handed down the warning at a press conference in Abuja.

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While admitting that peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, the minister said violent protests are not.

While admitting that peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, the minister said violent protests are not.

He said the chances that any peaceful protest would be hijacked at this time were very high.

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The minister claimed that based on the intelligence at the disposal of the Federal Government, some Nigerian activists have linked up with others outside Nigeria, “including subversive elements,” with a view to destabilising the country, adding that “We cannot and must not allow this to happen.”

Mohammed said, “Any further resort to violence in the name of EndSARS will not be tolerated this time.

“The security agents are ready for any eventuality. A situation in which six soldiers and 37 policemen were murdered in cold blood by hoodlums will not repeat itself.

“We therefore strongly warn those who are planning to re-occupy Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday to desist. We know that many of those who have been loudest on social media in advertising the plan to reconvene in Lagos on Saturday are not even in Nigeria. They are elsewhere around the world fanning the embers of violence and inciting gullible people back home. No one should fall for their antics.

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“The attack, looting and razing of 269 private and public property will not happen again. The killing of 57 civilians will not be re-enacted.

“We therefore strongly warn those who are planning to re-occupy Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday to desist. We know that many of those who have been loudest on social media in advertising the plan to reconvene in Lagos on Saturday are not even in Nigeria. They are elsewhere around the world fanning the embers of violence and inciting gullible people back home. No one should fall for their antics.

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#Newsworthy

APC warns against reopening of Lekki toll gate.

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The party said the intention of such call was to get the youths back on the streets and to unleash further mayhem on innocent people, who are still individually and collectively struggling to overcome their recent losses.

The Lagos State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged citizens of the state to disregard calls urging them to engage in protests or activities that could lead to further unrest in the state.

The state’s Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Seye Oladejo, in a statement, yesterday, also urged the people to be mindful of the ravaging second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which thrives in an atmosphere of mammoth crowd, before heading to any reckless call to protest.

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The party said its position was based on the recent call by a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Timi Frank, who said citizens of the state should troop out to protest the reopening of the Lekki Tollgate Plaza, which was closed down in the aftermath of the October 20, 2020, #EndSARS protests.

The party said the intention of such call was to get the youths back on the streets and to unleash further mayhem on innocent people, who are still individually and collectively struggling to overcome their recent losses.

According to Oladejo: “Our earlier position that the violent and orchestrated protest was sponsored is perhaps being buttressed by this renewed efforts to make the state ungovernable.”

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“We need to emphasise that the mindless reaction of the politically-frustrated Frank is typical of someone seeking relevance through a rather sensitive issue.

“Besides, it is subjudice and lawless on the part of Timi Frank to condemn a panel that is yet to officially submit its findings.

“We hereby call on all well-meaning Lagosians to condemn any act under whatever guise that could lead to further unrest in the state.

“We also need to be mindful of the ravaging second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which thrives in an atmosphere of mammoth crowd.”

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The party commended the state government for its earnest and committed efforts to rebuild the state.

It also appreciated those who partnered with the government on corporate and individual capacities for the rebuilding of the state.

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#Newsworthy

Protest ‘rumbling’ as Court agrees reopening of Lekki toll gate.

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After the panel’s chair ruling, Ebun Adegboruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and member of the panel, led three other members to oppose the ruling of the judge.

Hundreds of Nigerian youths have taken to social media to speak against the handover of Lekki toll gate, where Nigerian forces opened fire on unarmed protesters last October, to its owners Lekki Concession Company.

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Members of the judicial panel set up by the Lagos State government to investigate the October 2020 Lekki shooting voted 5-4 in favor of the handover on Saturday.

Young people mobilising through social media have called out the panel for approving the release of the toll gate while an investigation is ongoing. Many are vexed that the government has not owned to the killing of unarmed protesters, who marched against police brutality on the night of October 20.

The hashtag #occupyLekkiTollGate has been trending to push their grievances.

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“Lagos State government, Lekki Concession Company, and some members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel members inspired the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest planned for 7 am on Saturday, February 13,” Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, tweeted on Monday.

Other Twitter users have also shared and reshared graphics and tweets for mobilization for a protest on Saturday.

Lekki Concession Company, through its counsel, had been praying the panel to allow it to take over the plaza for repair and insurance claims since December 2020.

But the panel earlier said the toll plaza could not be handed over as a forensic expert has been paid by the Lagos state government to examine the toll gate with respect to the October 20 shooting incident.

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In January 5 sitting, Doris Okuwobi, the panel chairperson, said the government has paid a forensic expert to examine the scene of the Lekki shooting and LCC needs to wait for the forensic examination results.

“Forensic evidence is most needed in this inquiry,” Okuwobi said.

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The matter was adjourned till February 6 as the forensic report was to be ready on February 2.

But on Saturday, instead of the report of the forensic examination is read during the siting, the judge made no comment on the forensic report, while the LCC was allowed to proceed with its application.

Okuwobi, a retired judge, said the forensic report is ready and the panel is satisfied “but would not wait till the termination of the petitions before it hands over control of Lekki to LCC”.

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“To put the record straight, it is the jurisdiction of this panel to investigate the incident of October 2020 and make recommendations is the premise by which the panel must comply with jurisdiction to look into the Lekki case.

“The Lekki toll plaza is considered the seat of event of that day. This panel has given ample opportunity to all petitioners to access the toll plaza with the view to considering the investigation.”

After the panel’s chair ruling, Ebun Adegboruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and member of the panel, led three other members to oppose the ruling of the judge.

Adegboruwa, Patience Udoh (lawyer and human rights activist), and the two representatives of the youth, Rinuola Oduola and Temitope Majekodunmi, said the decision of the judge and other members of the panel does not represent theirs.

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Adegboruwa said the handover of the plaza at this time “is hasty, premature and will overreach the work and eventual recommendations of the panel.”

“Investigation by the panel over the Lekki Tollgate incident is still ongoing, it will therefore be premature to hand over the plaza that is still subject of panel’s investigation and proceedings, to LCC,” he said.

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#Newsworthy

Disagreement over reopening of Lekki border.

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Lekki Toll Gate management should not be allowed to repossess the toll gate until full investigations are concluded

Youth representatives at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Saturday opposed the reopening of the Lekki toll gate.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa also noted that reopening the toll-gate at this time would be hasty and premature.

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Chairman of the Judicial Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi earlier on Saturday ruled that the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) could repossess the toll gate, which has been closed since October.

In a statement published on Twitter after the ruling, the youth representatives, Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi, said their “dissent wasn’t reflected in the ruling.”

According to the representatives, the incidents that led to the closure of the toll gate are yet to be resolved.

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On October 20, military officials shot at #EndSARS protesters occupying the toll gate, in what has been described as a massacre by eyewitnesses. However, the Nigerian government and military have denied any wrongdoing.

“We must highlight clearly, what is of critical importance to ensure there is a full & thorough investigation into the Lekki Toll Gate incidence; ensure justice for all victims; & that any & every one found culpable is identified & recommended for appropriate action under the law,” the youth representatives said in their statement.

A file photo of youth representatives at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

“We understand from the Forensic Report submitted by the expert employed by the panel, LCC management has, despite requests, failed to provide information, which includes access to servers; who ordered the extraction of CCTV footage; date & time of extraction of the footage from the CCTV; method used for the extraction as well as such other information which may be useful for purposes of the forensic examination & report.

“None of these have been provided by LCC and so it is impossible to conclude that investigations are over. It is therefore imperative that the Lekki Toll Gate management should not be allowed to repossess the toll gate until full investigations are concluded

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“This is especially important as victims of the Lekki Toll Incident are yet to be heard and the public is still in the dark on the full details of the Incidence.

“Based on these facts, we are of the considered view that the Lekki Toll Gate remain shut and under the purview of the Panel until full investigations and hearings are concluded by this Panel.

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“We do not have any intention to obstruct the rulings of the panel. We only want our dissent to be on record. We are committed to ensuring justice for victims.”

‘An Insensitive Decision’
In his dissenting statement, Adegboruwa, who is also a human rights lawyer, averred that the panel is yet to come to any findings in respect of the October 20 events and any takeover by LCC will be prejudicial to the ultimate findings of the panel.

He also said that the panel is yet to ascertain the claims and counterclaims of fatalities and massacre of citizens on October 20 and if indeed such is established, a takeover at this time will be insensitive, callous, and totally uncharitable to the memories of those who may have died.

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“The panel commissioned a forensic expert to undertake a forensic examination of the toll plaza, to examine documents, videos & CCT footages submitted and the panel is yet to receive a comprehensive report or the full details of the forensic report,” he said.

He also noted that the panel has summoned the Lagos State Government to appear and offer its accounts of October 20, especially following serious allegations made by the Nigerian Army against the state government.

“The Governor of Lagos in an open broadcast promised to handover to the panel a camera picked up by the Hon. Minister of works & housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN),” he added. “This has not happened.

“Allegations have also been made against the company responsible for the billboards at the Admiralty Toll Plaza as to who did and why the electricity was switched off on October 20 prior to the invasion by the army. The company is yet to appear before the panel.

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“Summons have been issued for the appearance and testimony of the Chief Pathologist of Lagos to tender autopsy reports of death and CCTV footages of all mortuaries in Lagos from Oct 20. They are yet to appear”.

He stressed that a takeover of the toll plaza by this time is hasty, premature, and will overreach the work and eventual recommendations of the panel.

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#Newsworthy

Drama, Argument as LCC reopens Lekki toll gate.

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During the proceedings on Saturday, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, gave a ruling allowing the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Ltd to repossess the toll gate.

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of police brutality and other related matters has returned control of the Lekki toll gate plaza to its owners, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).

During the proceedings on Saturday, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, gave a ruling allowing the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Ltd to repossess the toll gate.

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Justice Okuwobi sitting with four other members of the panel listened to arguments for and against the application made by counsel to the LCC Ltd, Demola Seriki for the re-opening of the facility.

It’s the 4th time the LCC is making the application.

The other four members who sat with Justice Okuwobi are Segun Awosanya (popularly known as Segalink), Oluwatoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizen’s Right), DIG Taiwo Lakanu ( representing the police) and Lucas Koyejo (from the National Human Rights Commission).

In his arguments in support of the application, Mr Seriki asked the panel to allow the company take possession of the toll gate plaza for the purpose of evaluating the damage done so as to be able to make insurance claims needed to effect the necessary repairs which he says will last about 2 months.

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Immediately after the panel ruling in his favour, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa walked in with the other three members of the panel, Patience Udoh (representing civil society), Rinuola Oduola and Temitope Majekodunmi (representing the youths).

They all proceeded to deliver dissenting decisions to the effect that they were not in support of the repossession and the reopening of the Lekki toll plaza.

Story Source: Channels

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#Newsworthy

Lagos Gov’t approves reopening of Lekki toll gate after 3 months of #EndSARs massacre.

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LCC had earlier prayed the panel to allow it to take over the plaza for repair and insurance claims since December 2020.

The judicial panel established by the Lagos state government to probe brutality and high handedness of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) has approved the reopening of the Lekki tollgate.

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The nine-man panel returned the control of the tollgate to the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the operators, on Saturday.

LCC had earlier prayed the panel to allow it to take over the plaza for repair and insurance claims since December 2020.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: CNN coverage over Lekki shooting disgusted me – Buhari

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President Buhari’s tweet is coming a day after he held a closed-door meeting with all 36 state governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is digusted at the manner in which the foreign press handled coverage of the recently concluded #EndSARS Protest in Nigeria.

The President in a tweet via his official Twitter Handle on Wednesday said the foreign media houses did not balance their reportage on the protest.

According to him, the reports from some major foreign media firms did not attempt to lend a voice to the plight of policemen that were killed following the violence that erupted after the protest.

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He further noted that the stations which were burnt and prisons that were opened did not make it into the reports of the foreign press.

It must be said that foreign press coverage of the ENDSARS violence was not balanced, especially from CNN and BBC.

I was disgusted by the coverage, which did not give attention to the policemen that were killed, the stations that were burnt, and prisons that were opened.

— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 9, 2020
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There at the meeting, the President sounded a strong warning about a reoccurrence of the EndSARS protest, saying that no responsible government will allow that to happen.

“We do not stop anyone from demonstrating, but you don’t set up roadblocks and smashing windscreens. Which government will allow that?,’’ Buhari asked.

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#Newsworthy

Fifteen Lekki Massacre victims storm Lagos Panel. CNN could be wrong?

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In their entourage was Mr. Nathaniel Solomon, whose younger brother Abouta Solomon was said to have been shot dead at the toll gate.

Fifteen (15) protesters who suffered gunshot wounds during the #EndSARS protests in Lagos have visited the Lagos State Court of Arbitration and Mediation in Lekki, venue of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters.

14 of them were said to have been shot at Lekki Toll Gate on the evening of October 20, while one was said to have been shot Ojodu Berger.

The deceased has since been buried in his hometown in Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa State, and Aiyedungbe Olufunmi Grace, whose brother died at LASUTH after suffering gunshot wounds to the head.

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Grace told NoRM‘s known Media that after her brother’s death, the hospital authorities changed the story and said he died of COVID-19.

The Nigerian Army has denied allegations that it shot at peaceful protesters, saying it merely fired blanks into the air to disperse stone-throwers.

Details later….

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Gov’t threatens CNN over #LekkiMassacre accusations

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The protest started peacefully but soon degenerated into violence after it was hijacked by hoodlums.

The Federal government has vowed to punish the Cable Network News, CNN for carrying out unverified information from the controversial Lekki Toll Gate incident.

It also vowed not to spare any media organization both local and international that attempted to set Nigeria on fire through unverifiable reportage.

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed made the vow on Friday at a stakeholder’ meeting with the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) held in Abuja.

The Minister, was reacting to the controversial report by the American Cable News Network, CNN which it said had acknowledged their letter of complaint and promised to probe same on its merit.

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He accused CNN of spreading fake news by switching casualty figures at Lekki Toll Gate so casually without a credible source, hence, its decision to write a letter to CNN asking it to use its own internal mechanism to probe its investigation.

Mohammed insisted that “the use of unverified videos, and the non-adherence to the basic tenets of journalism have combined to land the international broadcaster, CNN, in trouble”, saying that the station had been caught in the web of fake news and disinformation, after it relied heavily on videos it took from social media for a supposed exclusive investigation on the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on Oct. 20th.

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He also stated that the station was found to be inconsistent, adding that “after tweeting, without a shred of evidence, from its verified handle on Oct. 23rd that soldier killed 38 peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on Oct. 20th, the same station now said only one person was killed – after a month of its investigation.”

His words: “It is baffling that an organization like CNN will rely on unauthenticated videos to carry out an investigation

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“More worrisome is that an international broadcaster like CNN will switch casualty figures so casually without a credible source. This is why we have written a letter to CNN asking it to use its own internal mechanism to probe its investigation.

“We have received an acknowledgement of our letter, saying the letter has been referred to CNN’s Editorial Team.

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We await the outcome of their probe, but that’s without prejudice to whatever we may decide to do as a government.

“We will not sit by and allow any news organization, local or foreign, to set Nigeria on fire with irresponsible and unprofessional reporting.

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“CNN did not have a reporter or cameraman at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night in question, yet it emphatically reported a hoax story.

Conversely, the BBC that had a reporter and an editor on ground reported that soldiers shot into the air, not at protesters. I will rather believe the person on the ground than the one who is thousands of kilometres away.

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“Since we sent our letter, CNN has been grasping at straws in desperation, to justify its inaccurate and unbalanced investigation.

But in the process, it is sinking more and more into professional infamy. Yesterday, Nov. 26th that is, in the clearest indication yet of the its confusion over the Lekki Toll Gate incident, CNN tried to clarify its tweet of Oct. 23rd by saying it never attributed the death toll of 38 to Amnesty International and that the tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country.

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“Commentators on the tweet tried to redirect CNN to the issue: which is its tweet of Oct. 23rd in which it said ”At least 38 people were killed in Nigeria on Tuesday (Oct. 20th) when the military opened fire on peaceful protesters.” This is very unambiguous and CNN is exhibiting panic by seeking to clarify its tweet some 35 days later! Instead of engaging in such panic, CNN should come clean by admitting that it goofed badly on the Lekki Toll Gate incident.

“But the big lesson to draw from CNN’s faux pas is that it magnifies the failure or inadequacy of our own broadcast organizations.

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” In the wake of our spat with CNN, people are asking: Why didn’t our own broadcast stations take the lead in reporting the incident at Lekki? Why didn’t they take the lead in presenting an authentic narrative? Why must we allow the foreign broadcast stations, some of which didn’t even have correspondents on ground, to dictate the pace, thus misleading the world? These are questions begging for answers and I think for BON, this must form part of their review of the coverage of the incident.

Role of security agencies

On the role of the security agencies during and after the EndSARS protest, the Minister said they acted professionally as they also restrained themselves, which helped to save many lives, even in the face of attacks and provocation.

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“The security agencies, in particular the police and soldiers, acted within their rules of engagement. The reporting of the EndSARS protest has been skewed against the security agencies. While most reports have become fixated on the so-called massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate, only a few have highlighted the attacks and killings of security agents, as well as the destruction of public and private property. This is selective perception and it is condemnable.

” For the record, six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed all over the country during the crisis. Also, 196 policemen were injured;

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164 police vehicles were destroyed and 134 police stations burnt down. The killing of the policemen was particularly gruesome and dastardly. Yet, human rights organizations and the media have not given this the attention it deserved. Rather, they have remained fixated on the so-called massacre. It seems human rights do not matter for men and women in uniform. This is unfortunate and must be corrected. Please note that the violence also left 57 civilians dead, 269 private/corporate facilities burnt/looted/vandalized, 243 government dacilities burnt/vandalized and 81 government warehouses looted.”

Social media regulation

While reiterating government’s plan to regulate the social media, Mohammed assured that the administration has no plan to stifle free speech, neither does it have any intention of shutting down the internet but has decided to act to ensure a responsible use of social media.

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“Social media has come to stay, and those who use it responsibly have nothing to fear.But we cannot give the same assurance for those who weaponize social media.

“By the way, the issue of regulating social media content is generating debate around the world, so Nigeria is not an exception.

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N3m fine by NBC

On the N3m fine imposed on three television stations on the aftermath of EndSARs by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for using unverified and dangerous information from social media, Mohammed said two of the stations have so far paid in full, while one has paid in part.

He however, appealed to broadcast stations to avoid using unverified information from social media, as this is fraught with danger.

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He insisted that despite the temptation, the stations must adhere strictly to the gate-keeping tradition instead of rushing to use materials that are not authenticated.

Recall with NoRM that last month witnessed an EndSARS protest by the youth, who were calling for an end to police brutality and the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

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The EndSARs protesters made five demands of: Immediate release of all arrested protesters.

ii) Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
iii) Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct within 10 days.

iv) In line with the new Police Act, psychological evaluation and retraining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
v) Increase police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting the lives and property of citizens.

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The Federal Government however, while responding through the Inspector-General of Police announced the immediate disbandment of SARS across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Also, on Oct. 12th: President Muhamadu Buhari addressed the nation, stating: ”The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people. We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Army speaks on repeating what happened at Lekki toll gate

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The army had maintained that blank bullets were used to disperse the protesters who were out on the streets during the time the Lagos state government imposed a curfew.

The Nigerian Army has promised to repeat the same action it took at the Lekki tollgate if such a situation arises again.

Recall with NoRM that soldiers had forcefully dispersed #EndSARS protesters who converged on the tollgate for 13 days and it triggered an outrage within and outside the country.

When he appeared before the panel set up to probe the incident, on Saturday, Ibrahim Taiwo, commander of the 81 division of the Nigerian Army, said given the same circumstance, the army would act in a similar to that of October 20, 2020.


#Newsworthy

EndSARs: CCTV unveils soldiers ‘arrived’ Lekki toll gate in truck.

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The footage showed that the scene was calm until about 6.43pm when people could be seen running towards the tollgate from the Oriental Hotel end.

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20 on Saturday resumed the viewing of a CCTV footage submitted by the Lekki Concession Company, operator of the tollgate.

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Two minutes later, at 6.45pm, vehicles, with flashing headlights, presumably military vehicles, arrived on the scene. There were no fewer than seven of them.

At 6.53pm, about 10 minutes after the arrival of the military vehicles, the tollgate went into a blackout.

Two minutes later, at 6.55pm, one of the military vehicles drove through the tollgate to the other end where the crowd of protesters was gathered.


#Newsworthy…

EndSARs: AAC puts Sanwo-Olu on fire over #LekkiMassacre

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The governor has also denied reports that over 17 deaths were recorded during the incident, noting that only two persons died later as a result of gunshot wounds.

The African Action Congress, ACC, has asked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to account for the dead victims of the Lekki Shooting.

Recall with NoRM that officers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

However, the army has repeatedly denied the allegation, saying its operatives only fired blank bullets into the air, not at the protesters.

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But in a tweet via its Twitter page on Thursday, the opposition party said the governor lied to Lagosians that he has been to all morgues in the state and cannot find dead bodies.

The party noted that a CNN report showed that the army used live bullets on #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate.

According to the party, the Lagos governor must be held responsible for inviting the Nigerian Army to the scene of the protest and earlier denying that he has no idea that soldiers were at the toll gate. The AAC also mocked the governor and the Lagos state government for calling for the identification of missing persons.


#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Gov’t denies #LekkiMassacre amid CNN report

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Even the owners of the various social media platforms, including Facebook, are increasingly joining the call for content regulation.

The Federal Government has said that there was no massacre of demonstrators during the #EndSARS protest in Lekki in Lagos.

It said what is being portrayed so far was “social media massacre” or a “hoax massacre.”

It said it was a case of massacre without bodies.

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It asked international community not to be misled by posts on social media to impose sanctions on Nigeria.

It condemned CNN report on #EndSARS protest in Lekki and described it as “irresponsible journalism.”

It said CNN relied on unverified and doctored videos.

But the government said it will go ahead to regulate the social media in the country.

It said social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties.

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, who made the government’s positions known at a briefing in Abuja, said the government was satisfied with the conduct of the military and security agencies during the #EndSARS protest.

He said soldiers and policemen deserve commendation for their roles during the protest.

Mohammed said: “While we await the Judicial Panel in Lagos to unravel what transpired at the Lekki Toll Gate, what we can say, based on testimonies available in the public space, is that the world may have just witnessed, for the very first time ever, a MASSACRE WITHOUT BODIES! Some have tagged it ‘social media massacre’.

“The testimony of Brig.-Gen, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo of the Nigerian Army before the Panel was compelling, and I am sure many of you have listened to or watched it.

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” The highlights, for those who may not have watched the testimony, are:

– Soldiers were deployed all over Lagos, including Lekki Toll Gate, after the other security agencies were overwhelmed on Oct. 20th 2020, upon the request of the state government.

– Before deployment, the soldiers were briefed on the Rules of Engagement, which they adhered to all through

– Soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate fired blank ammunitions into the air

– Blank ammunition cannot do any damage to the flesh, not to talk of killing anyone

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– Firing live ammunition into the crowd, as some have alleged, would have led to mass killing, which never happened.

The Minister asked countries that had made hasty judgment on #EndSARS protest to seek the truth.

He said it was regretful that some people and the international community have been calling for sanctions against Nigeria.

He added: “Sadly, the purveyors of fake news and disinformation succeeded in deceiving the world that indeed there was mass killing in Lekki, even when, till date, not a single body has been produced and not a single family or relative has come out to say their child or ward was killed at Lekki.

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“More surprising and irresponsible is the fact that some people have been calling for sanctions against Nigeria or against Nigerian government officials on the basis of a hoax. This is one of the dangers of fake news and disinformation.

” Once fake news is out, many run with it, without looking back, even when the truth is eventually revealed. We therefore want to use this opportunity to ask those who have alleged massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate to go to the Judicial Panel to present their evidence(s) to the world or simply admit that they have goofed.”

Mohammed insisted that the Federal Government will go ahead with the regulation of social media.

He said: “This development has reinforced the campaign against fake news and disinformation, which we launched in 2018. As a matter of fact, as far back as 2017, when we dedicated that year’s National Council on Information to the issue of fake news and disinformation, we had been expressing concerns on the dangers posed by irresponsible use of the new media platform. “The concerns culminated in the launch of the national campaign which I referred to earlier.

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” The social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties, both public and private. Pictures of persons, including some celebrities, who were supposedly killed at the Lekki Toll Gate by soldiers, were circulated widely, only for those persons to refute such claims or for the discerning to disprove such posts. As we have said many times, no responsible government will stand by and allow such abuse of social media to continue.

“The fake news/disinformation purveyors have latched on to our concerns to allege that the Federal Government is planning to shut down social media. No, we have no plans to shut down the social media.

” What we have always advocated, and what we will do, is to regulate the social media. Nigeria is not alone in this regard. The issue of social media regulation is an ongoing debate not just in Nigeria but around the world, including in the United States, which is the flag flyer of constitutional democracy.

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“Some respected opinion leaders have been playing to the gallery on the issue of social media regulation by making inciting and incendiary statements, while some other individuals and groups have been threatening fire and brimstone over the issue of social media regulation.

“What they have failed to understand is that the only reason we are even able to have this debate is because we have a country.

” If we allow the abuse of social media to precipitate uncontrolled internecine violence, the kind of which was narrowly averted during the EndSARS crisis, no one will remember or be able to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, for whatever purpose.

” It is incumbent upon us all, therefore, to strike a balance between free speech – which this Administration is committed to upholding – and fake news/disinformation, which it is determined to fight.”


#Newsworthy…

EndSARs: Chief of Army staff, Buratai blows hot at CNN

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However, CNN had released an investigative report showing how soldiers had shot at protesters on the fateful day.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has maintained that the Nigerian Army was professional in its conduct.

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Buratai made the remark in response to a report by CNN on the shooting of End SARS protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.

Recall that soldiers deployed to Lekki toll gate were accused of shooting and killing End SARS protesters at Lekki toll gate.

But, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army had denied killing protesters at Lekki toll gate.

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Reacting to the report, Buratai said the Nigerian Army will never operate outside the rules of engagement.

He spoke while receiving members of the House of Representatives committee on Army at the Army headquarters on Wednesday.

According to Buratai: “Let me assure you and all Nigerians that the Nigerian Army is a professional Army. We follow our rules of engagement. Nigerians should feel safe.

“We abide by rules of engagement and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”


#Newsworthy…

EndSARs: More truth into #LekkiMassacre revealed by CNN

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Later, DJ Switch can be seen helping to extract a bullet lodged in another man’s thigh as he screams in agony. Someone in the crowd says, “you will live, you will not die.”

Sometime after midnight on October 21, Elisha Sunday Ibanga answered a phone call from his older brother’s number.

The person on the other end of the line — a stranger — broke the news that Ibanga’s brother, Victor, had been shot dead at the Lekki Toll Gate, in Lagos, Nigeria, where he had been peacefully protesting against police brutality earlier that night.

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“The person told me that the police took his body away,” Ibanga, 24, told CNN.

An eyewitness to Victor Sunday Ibanga’s death told CNN the 27-year-old entrepreneur was shot in the head during the protest.

CNN has obtained and geolocated a photograph of Victor’s body lying in a pool of blood and wrapped in the white and green of the Nigerian standard — one of the same flags gripped by fellow protesters earlier in the evening as they sang the country’s national anthem. Ibanga confirmed the photograph is of his brother.

The Ibangas are one of several families yet to locate the bodies of their missing loved ones — protestors at the toll gate — who dozens of eyewitnesses say were shot at, first by members of the Nigerian Army and then hours later by police. Eyewitnesses told CNN they saw the army remove a number of bodies from the scene.

What happened on October 20, and into the early hours of October 21, at the eight-lane Lekki Toll Gate — a key piece of Lagos’ road network — has stunned the country.

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The protesters, who were present have told CNN it was a “massacre” with multiple people killed and dozens wounded. But local authorities have downplayed that account.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, admitted to CNN that footage showed uniformed soldiers firing on peaceful protesters but claimed only two demonstrators were killed. But, he then said there was “not a scratch of blood” at the toll gate when he visited. The governor said no families had approached authorities saying they were missing relatives.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the army denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as “fake news,” before backtracking and saying that soldiers were present but fired their weapons in the air and used blanks, not live rounds.

CNN’s calls to the Nigerian Army have not been returned. But on November 14, during a judicial inquiry into the shooting, army representative, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, said, “There’s no way officers and men will kill their brothers and sisters. I repeat no way. We have those who constantly seek to drive a wedge between us and between the citizens of Nigeria…”

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The army also said at the hearing that it was the governor, who called soldiers to the scene because the police were overrun. The governor has denied this, saying he does not have the authority to call in the army. The army has continued to restate that they did not fire live rounds.

But an investigation by CNN into the disputed events has cast doubt on authorities’ shifting and changing statements.

Evidence of bullet casings from the scene match those used by the Nigerian Army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials. Verified video footage — using timestamps and data from the video files — shows soldiers, who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses establish that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.

Since Elisha Sunday Ibanga learned of his brother’s death, he has been visiting hospitals in a desperate search for his remains.

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“My mother, my sisters, all my family are in prayer, just to see if we can find out and know where my brother’s dead body is,” he said.

The bodies of other protesters are nowhere to be found.

Peace Okon, 24, hasn’t seen her younger brother Wisdom, 18, since he went to the protest the night of the shooting.

“He just came back from work on that Tuesday, ate his food and went there,” Okon told CNN.

She started worrying when he didn’t arrive home that night. By the next morning, Okon was out searching for him. “I’ve gone to hospitals, I’ve gone to police stations, I’ve gone to everywhere. I can’t find him,” she said.

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Her brother had only moved to Lagos a few weeks before the protest — Okon had helped him find a job as a cleaner at a bank. She says he didn’t know anyone at the protest and had never been to one before.

Okon said she wants the Nigerian authorities to tell her if her brother is alive and detained or dead.

The shootings at Lekki Toll Gate followed weeks of “#EndSARS” protests against police brutality that had burst onto the streets of cities across Nigeria.

For almost a fortnight, thousands of young Nigerians mostly under 30 — a demographic that makes up 40% of the country’s population — protested, with calls for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit widely and repeatedly accused of kidnapping, harassment and extortion.

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Police had agreed to disband the controversial unit but protests continued. It would be the fourth time it was being disbanded.

There were peaceful marches, candlelight vigils, multi-faith prayer sessions and DJ performances that attracted backing and solidarity from celebrities, the Nigerian Diaspora and supporters around the world.

The movement quickly widened beyond police brutality to other grievances — capturing the frustrations of a young population demanding an end to bad governance in the oil-rich country.

Lekki, a relatively affluent suburb of Lagos, and the toll gate became a focal point of the movement.

However, about 10 days into the protests, the demonstrations were hijacked by “thugs and sponsored hoodlums” who attacked protesters, causing deaths and injuries, according to Amnesty International Nigeria.

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In response, on October 20, hours before the shooting, Governor Sanwo-Olu imposed a strict curfew starting at 4pm following looting and vandalism in other parts of the state.

It was later moved to 9pm to allow commuters to get home. The timeline for when the curfew was imposed has become a point of contention between the governor and military. The army said their soldiers were unaware of the change to the later time, according to the army spokesperson’s testimony to the eight-person judicial panel on November 14.

For 24 hours, only essential service providers were to be allowed on the streets of the 20-million strong city.

Testimony from dozens of eyewitnesses and family members interviewed by CNN and a forensic examination of hours of video and dozens of photographs captured before, during and after the two shooting incidents show how a fledgling protest movement was all but extinguished by the very thing Nigerians were demonstrating against.

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Less than three hours after the original curfew time came into effect, army trucks left the Bonny Camp barracks on Victoria Island and headed towards the toll gate plaza and the protesters, according to videos reviewed by CNN.

Two eyewitnesses told CNN they saw soldiers arriving in a Toyota Hilux pickup truck with “OP Awatse” written on it — the name of a joint military task force that operates in Lagos State.

Videos examined by CNN show the army trucks approaching the protesters from both sides of the toll gate — barricading them in.

DJ Switch, a local musician whose real name is Obianuju Catherine Udeh, was streaming live on Instagram when it all happened and the shooting began.

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The shooting started almost immediately, with no warning given. Panic ensued as protesters attempted to flee.

“There was a guy that was running, and he just… he fell, and we looked at him. He was shot in the back,” DJ Switch, 29, told CNN, as she tried to talk during an interview while crying.

“Please explain to me how, in which part of the world, do you go to a protest with live bullets,” she said.

From multiple videos, CNN has pieced together a timeline that shows that shooting by the army lasted from 6:43pm until at least 8:24pm, according to video evidence.

The videos capturing some of those 101 minutes tell a story of terror and chaos.

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They show graphic injuries and people bleeding on the ground.

One eyewitness, Sarah, whose last name we’re not publishing for her safety, told CNN that the soldiers shot in the air but also directly at protesters.

“They pointed their guns at us and they started shooting,” she said. “They were shooting in the air, they were shooting at us, they were shooting everywhere.”

Some chanted: “We are peaceful protesters” and “End Sars, we no go gree [pidgin for we will not agree, or give in].”

“They’re shooting, they’re shooting,” another person screams in one of the videos. Cries of “Na lie, na lie [exclamations of disbelief in pidgin]” can also be heard.

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In several of the videos, reviewed and verified by CNN, some of the protesters can be seen carrying bodies, the flashlights on their phones the only thing illuminating the darkness as the sound of ambulance sirens wail in the background.

It is not known whether these were dead or injured protesters.

In another, there are several injured people, some on the ground bleeding while defiant protesters continued to wave Nigerian flags.

Injured people whom CNN has confirmed were present at the toll gate started arriving in local hospitals — carried by civilians — from 7:19pm while the shooting was still ongoing, according to videos analyzed by CNN.

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CNN has also seen and verified footage from one man who used his car as a makeshift ambulance and transported people to hospital.

Separately, Dr Ayo Aranmolate, executive medical director at Grandville Medical Centre, told CNN he and his colleagues received around 15 injured people that night with various gunshot wounds and cuts. None of the people they treated died, he added.

“We referred some for treatment to other hospitals,” Dr Aranmolate said. “One of the victims had to have his leg amputated.”

The army has denied that anyone was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, and that they only shot into the air.

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Speaking in front of the judicial panel, the army spokesman, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, continued to deny that anyone was shot.

Multiple eyewitnesses told CNN that ambulances were prevented from reaching the scene by the authorities.

A video filmed at 8:49pm, according to metadata, shows ambulance workers in a van at the scene saying they are unable to get through.

When contacted by CNN to share the findings of this investigation, a Lagos State Government spokesman declined to comment. “Talking about that subject now will be sub-judicial since the matter is already before a panel of inquiry. Until the panel concludes its investigation, the subject will not be open to any discussion or comment by any State official,” the spokesperson said.

DJ Switch said she wanted people to see what was happening which is why she started broadcasting.

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“I didn’t want anybody to come on and twist the story. I wanted people to see. So, I just went live.”

At one point during the broadcast, there were attempts to resuscitate a man in red clothing who had passed out.

As the live broadcast ends, people are still trying to apply CPR on the man in red, while DJ Switch can be heard saying, “this guy is dying.”

DJ Switch told CNN that protesters lifted bodies with bullet wounds and put them at the soldiers’ feet.

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“I said, why are you killing us? Why are you doing this,” she said. “He expressly told me: ‘I am acting on orders from above.'”

CNN has examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings match those used by the army. Two ballistics experts have also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks.

CNN has verified that bullets fired at Lekki toll gate are from live ammunition. This one was manufactured in Serbia in 2005, and is currently in use by the Nigerian army.

And working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN has established that several of the bullets from the Lekki Toll Gate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.

After the army withdrew from the scene, members of the police, including the SARS police unit — disbanded by authorities on 11 October — moved in, according to multiple eyewitnesses CNN spoke with.

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In a video obtained by CNN and geolocated to Lekki Toll Gate at 2:36am, one eyewitness, Legend, whose second name we’re not publishing for his safety, can be seen with the Nigerian flag around his head saying, “…my hand is broken, my leg is broken, and police are still shooting at us.”

“They are shooting anything that moves outside…Stay safe through the night. And if I don’t make it through the night let it be known that I died fighting for our freedom, for what we believe in.”

Legend, who survived, told CNN his father was a police officer and that he recognized the SARS uniform.

About 200 protesters remained at the toll gate when witnesses say police and SARS arrived, he added.

“I couldn’t count how many dead because I was running for my life,” Legend said. “If I stood my ground five more seconds, I would be dead.”

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While CNN has not been able to independently verify that SARS members were present, multiple eyewitnesses said they saw police officers, accompanied by officers from the unit, at the scene after the army left.

A Lagos State Police spokesman declined to comment because of the ongoing panel investigation. But police have denied any use of force against protesters on Twitter, saying, “….our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters.”

The widespread looting and damage that occurred across Lagos in the aftermath of the Lekki toll gate shooting has led to the authorities clamping down on people who took part in the protests.

Many feel they are being scapegoated for taking part in peaceful protests — wrongly blamed for the looting — and fear has descended on the movement since the shooting.

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Moe Odele, a prominent lawyer, who was giving legal advice to demonstrators arrested during the protests, says she was recently prevented from leaving the country after her passport was seized. Odele told CNN that her passport has since been returned.

The country’s central bank has obtained a 90-day court order freezing the accounts of those who took part in the demonstrations, according to media reports, while a journalist, who covered the protests was arrested and detained for five days before being freed on bail.

Several eyewitnesses have fled the country, while others are living in safe houses. Some told CNN they were offered money to recant their initial testimonies.

CNN has seen some of the messages received, though it is unclear who is sending them.

“We’re hiding because our lives are in danger,” an eyewitness named Sarah told CNN. “We can’t go out, our jobs are on hold right now, and it’s really sad because we did nothing wrong.”

“All we did was ask for change.”


#Newsworthy…

EndSARs: Only blank bullets were fired at Lekki toll gate – Army insist

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He also insisted that the military only fired into the air and not directly at the #EndSARS protesters.

The Nigerian Army has insisted that only blank bullets containing gunpowder were fired at the Lekki Tollgate area of Lagos State on October 20.

Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, made this known on Saturday when he appeared before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up in the state to investigate cases of police brutality.

While explaining that the blank bullets cannot cause any damage to the flesh, Brigadier Taiwo said if real bullets were indeed used, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot


#Newsworthy…