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EndSARS: Lawyers state position as report punctures Buhari, Lai’s defence for military, police actions

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Lekki tollgate shooting

The Lagos State EndSARS Panel has released its report and the details contradict the position of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the military, and the police who had earlier denied shooting and killing protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

Contrary to the denial by Mohammed, the military, and the police, the panel described the incident at the Lekki Tollgate as “a massacre.”

The panel was setup to look into complaints of citizens on human rights abuses by the police and the Nigerian Army following the incident at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020.

Some protesters were killed after live bullets were shot at them by soldiers drafted to Lekki Tollgate to quell youths protesting against police brutality.

The report by the panel already released had indicted the police and soldiers of the Nigerian Army of having killed and maimed harmless youths protesting against police brutality.

Recall that the incident was faulted by the nation’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed who claimed that some proponents of the protest used the alleged massacre to paint the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in bad light before the international community.

Mohammed, in a series of press conferences denied that nobody was killed when soldiers invaded the protest scene.

During the marking of the one-year anniversary of the protest, the Minister had described the EndSARS massacre at Lekki tollgate as false.

Reacting to an independent investigation by the CNN which revealed that soldiers massacred protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos State, Mohammed said report was ‘fake news’.

The minister had tagged the widespread reports as: “Phantom Massacre at Lekki tollgate” which should be discarded.

Despite Mohammed’s stance, the panel report churned out proofs that there was indeed a massacre at the Lekki tollgate.

Reacting to the report, a Lagos-based lawyer and human rights advocate, Barrister Samuel Okoli, called on the Federal Government to suspended Lai Mohammed over his stance on the Lekki massacre.

Okoli said suspending Mohammed would show that the government is willing to make amends.

Speaking with DAILY POST, the human rights advocate said the Federal Government should ensure public trial of all soldiers and police officers involved in the Lekki massacre.

According to Okoli: “From the beginning, everybody knew there was a massacre in Lekki but Lai Mohammed is good at twisting facts. If this government is serious, the first thing it will do is to suspend Lai Mohammed because it’s now obvious that the Lekki massacre was real; everybody saw it, DJ Switch posted it, there were live testimonies.

“There were investigative journalists who carried out independent investigations. Freedom for Investigative Journalism had reported that about 20 persons died from the massacre.

“But, Lai Mohammed seeing all those things, still went ahead to defend the government. I think if the government is serious, it should suspend him to show that they are contrite and want to apologize for what happened.

“The Federal Government should apologize and also carry out an open trial of all military and police officers that we’re involved in that massacre, all of them should be tried openly.”

Also commenting on the report, an official of the Benue State Government who preferred not to be mentioned, told DAILY POST that the panel report has “exposed some evils” in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government.

According to him, other facts regarding killings across the country may soon emerge, charging Nigerians to watch out.

“The report actually made my day yesterday. Of course, what do you expect from a government that does not have the interest of the people at heart? Nemesis is beginning to catch up with some people in this country. I’m glad that the report exposed the evil going on in the government.

“When it goes wrong on their side, the presidency will suddenly become quiet like a dead and dumb perspn, it is a shame. When Governor Samuel Ortom was saying that there is a hidden agenda on the general insecurity, Nigerians did not understand. More facts will still emerge. Just watch out”, he added.

Similarly, an Abuja-based human right lawyer, Maduabuchi Idam, has urged the Buhari-led government to apologize to Nigerians over the incident at Lekki Tollgate.

Idam said the report has exposed the government of the day of sending its machineries to kill defenceless Nigerians.

He told DAILY POST: “I must quickly commend My Lord, Honourable Justice Doris Okwuobi-led panel of inquiry, for the well considered and well delivered report on the Lekki Toll gate Massacre which took place on the night of the 20th of October, to the wee hours of the morning of 21st of October 2020.

“Without much ado, The report has not just vindicated those who participated in that protest, but it has clearly indicted the Government of the day by confirming the fact that the machineries of the state were ruthlessly deployed against innocent, defenceless and unarmed Nigerian citizens who only came out with Nigerian flags to register their displeasure against police brutality, by way of peaceful protest which is a constitutional right guaranteed in Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

“Before going further, I quickly demand that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should on behalf of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police and the Minister of information, forthwith personally tender an unreserved apology to the people of Nigeria, for the unwarranted, unprovoked, avoidable and needless killings of defenceless, armless and peaceful protesters on that day.

“As I await President Muhammadu Buhari’s apology, i expect that the government of Lagos State should immediately implement the recommendations made by the panel as contained in the report with a view to adequately compensate the families of victims of that unwarranted and unprovoked massacre.

“Nigeria is a democratic state and not a banana Republic, therefore, each and every citizen must lend his or her voice to constantly reject and condemn executive high-handedness and primitive use of force against free citizens as it has become the hallmark of this administration.

“This report has vindicated the Nigerian youth, those who played one role or the other during the protest.It has also vindicated all the allegations, cries made by the Nigerian people, that this government has failed us and can’t protect our lives, that this government is not out to serve the interest of Nigerians but their own selfish interest.”

End SARS massacre: Buhari told to sack, arrest Lai Mohammed immediately

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Billionaire kidnapper Evans’s co-defendant dies in prison

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Chiemeka Arinze, one of the co-defendants in the alleged kidnap of trial of Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, has died in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

Recall that Arinze was charged alongside, Evans, Joseph Emeka, and Udeme Upong with the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the Chairman of Young Shall Grow Motors.

They were arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

They were also charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sale and transfer of firearms.

According to his death certificate obtained by NAN on Monday, Arinze passed away at 9.08 pm on Nov. 26 as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest.

The death certificate which was issued by Ajeromi General Hospital, Ajegunle, signed by Dr. B.E Salisu indicated that the deceased, who died at the age of 45, was also suffering from complicated Advanced HIV.

According to officials of the correctional facilities who spoke under anonymity, Arinze, who was battling ill health, was rushed from the hospital of the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Center to a General Hospital on Friday where he passed away, NAN reports.

As at the time of the filing of this report, the counsel to Arinze, Mr Ogedi Ogu is in court for the hearing of the kidnapping case which is slated for hearing.

He disclosed to NAN that he intends to inform the court of Arinze’s demise and apply to withdraw from the case

Billionaire kidnapper Evans’s co-defendant dies in prison

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Reduce cost of governance instead of planned oil subsidy removal – Muslim journalists tell FG

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Muslim journalists on the platform of Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) have advised the Federal Government to reduce the cost of governance instead of the planned subsidy removal.

DAILY POST recalls that the Federal Government had a few days ago announced its plan to remove subsidy on petroleum products.

But, MMPN in its reaction has advised the government to shelve the idea of oil subsidy removal.

The Oyo State chapter of the association, in a communique issued at the end of its monthly meeting held in Ibadan on Sunday, insisted that the government should reduce the cost of governance in order to save money to embark on developmental projects.

In the communique made available to DAILY POST on Monday through its Chairman, Alhaji Ridwan Fasasi, MMPN enjoined the government not to remove oil subsidy because such a move will lead to an increase in prices of fuel and other essential commodities.

The association revealed that the removal of subsidy at this time will inflict more suffering on the majority of the Nigerian masses.

It appealed to the committee set up by the Federal Government on fuel subsidy to advise the government to look for other options such as reduction in the cost of governance at all levels by 70 percent.

“The reduction in the cost of governance will help to save more money as the Association believes that the cost of governance in the country is too high compared to the developed world,” it said.

The association while reviewing recent happenings in the journalism profession in the state, advised media professionals to uphold the responsibility of being the watchdog of the society by avoiding practices that could lead to derailment from its journalistic ethos.

It condemned the crisis that characterised the October Correspondents’ chapel election and the recently held NAWOJ election in the state.

“The charade that led to the NUJ National election, the brouhaha that characterized NUJ, Oyo State Correspondent Chapel election and the recent State NAWOJ election where two factions are claiming leadership of the union is a show of shame which have soiled the watchdog responsibility of the media as well as its role model functions.

“MMPN warns civil and public servants against being overzealous in implementing government circulars or taking steps that could lead to denial or infringement on Muslims fundamental human rights,” it added.

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EPL: Highest goal scorers in Premier League so far [Top 20]

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How Much Does a Soccer Player Make per Goal

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah remains the top scorer in the Premier League after Week 13 games.

The Egyptian international is ahead of Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy on the goal chart.

Salah has so far scored eleven Premier League goals for Liverpool this season.

The former Chelsea and AS Roma star has two goals ahead of Vardy.

Premier League top scorers after match-day thirteen:

11 goals: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).

9 goals: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

7 goals: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) and Diogo Jota (Liverpool).

6 goals: Michail Antonio (West Ham)

5 goals: Emmanuel Dennis (Watford), Joshua King (Watford), Maxwel Cornet (Burnley), Raphinha (Leeds United) and Ismaila Sarr (Watford).

4 goals: Reece James (Chelsea), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Son Heung-Min (Tottenham), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) and Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Meanwhile, the Premier League match-fourteen will commence on November 30.

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