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Update: #EndSARS: Presidential panel okays 5 demands of protesters

The Presidential panel has agreed to meet the demands of the #EndSARS protesters.

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The Presidential Panel on Police Reforms has met as instructed by the Presidency and okayed the five demands made by the #EndSARS protesters across the country.

This was disclosed by the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad on Tuesday.

In a statement signed by Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, convened a meeting with stakeholders, agreeing to meet demands, which include halting use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.

The meeting, organized by the Office of the Inspector General of Police and National Human Rights Commission, was a multi-stakeholders’ forum attended by leaders and representatives of civil society organisations in Nigeria, activists from the entertainment industry and the ENDSARS movement and development partners.

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The Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Service Commission were also present at the meeting that affirmed that the five-point demands of the protesters and the ENDSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the Government.

A communiqué of Stakeholders’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) said: “Following the public protests regarding various forms of human rights violations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the consequent disbandment of the unit by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, there arose the need for stakeholder engagement to build trust and restore public confidence in law enforcement.

“The agitations also brought to the fore, the need to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

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“The Forum was addressed by the Inspector General of Police and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission.

“The Forum collectively: welcomed the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest; Further affirmed the sanctity of life of every Nigerian and the role of the Police in protecting this right; Affirms that the five-point demands of the protesters and the ENDSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the Government.’’

According to the communiqué signed by the Inspector General of Police and Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, Esq, the Forum noted that the dissolution of SARS presents an opportunity to embark on comprehensive reforms aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Police Force as a modern, responsive and citizens-centred law enforcement organisation.

“The Forum further notes that the proposed reforms should be anchored under the basis of the White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which was jointly authored by the National Human Rights Commission, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Forum affirms that reform proposals for the Nigerian Police Force will be based on Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and existing legislations such as the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act, 2019, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, and the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2010 amongst others.

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“Following the dissolution of SARS, the Forum calls for the following immediate steps to be taken in restoring public confidence and trust in the Police: An order by the Inspector General of Police to all State Commands to halt the use of force against protesters; Unconditional release of arrested protesters and citizens; Open communication and outreach to citizens to establish trust and confidence and a roadmap for the implementation of the White Paper of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the SARS.

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“The Forum welcomed the proposal to set up an Independent Investigation Panel to look into the violations of human rights by the defunct SARS and other segments of the Nigerian Police. The Forum agrees to the setting up of this Independent Panel by the National Human Rights Commission within the next one week. An open call for Memoranda from members of the public whose rights have been violated by the defunct SARS and other segments of the Police will be released by the Commission within one week.

“The Forum recommends the psychological evaluation, training and retraining of disbanded SARS officials prior to re-deployment. The Forum resolves to set up the following Technical Sub-Committees to design an implementation roadmap and work plan for the implementation of the White Paper: Training, Capacity and Re-orientation; Logistics: Infrastructure, Communications and Technology; Arrest, Detention, and Investigations; Regulations, Oversight and Accountability and Financing and Partnerships.’’

The communiqué stated that sub-Committees will be supported by the National Human Rights Commission and other civil society organisations.

Those who attended the meeting are: Dr Kole Shettima- MAC Arthur Foundation; Innocent Chukwuma – Ford Foundation; Jude Ilo- of OSIWA; Segun Awosanya(segalinks) – End Sars Movement; Yemi Adamolekun- Enough is Enough; Clément Nwankwo- PLAC; Rafsanjani- CISLAC; Kemi Okonyedo- PWAN; YZ – CITAD; Folarin Falana Falz; Prof Deji Adekunle –NIALS; Chris Ngwodo, SSA to President Research & Policy; Dr Fatima Waziri – Rule of Law Adviser OVP and Abdulrahman Yakubu – NHRC Secretariat among others.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Timmy Obaseki

    October 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Right step in the right direction…they need to follow through on this ! No audio promises please 🙏🏽

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Business

7 stowaways, including Nigerians, arrested after suspected hijacking off Isle of Wight

Seven suspects were detained after a hijacking involving stowaways on a tanker off the Isle of Wight.

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7 stowaways, including Nigerians on board a Liberian registered oil tanker heading for England have been detained, after a suspected hijacking off the coast of Isle of Wight.

This was announced by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and several British News Media on Sunday evening.

READ: #EndSARS: UK ready to support genuine reform of police in Nigeria – British High Commissioner 

The Ministry of Defence said: “In response to a police request, the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary authorised Armed Forces personnel to board a ship in the English Channel to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking.

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“Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained. Police investigations will now continue. Initial reports confirm the crew are safe and well.”

According to BBC, the ship, Nave Andromeda, was on its way to the Fawley oil refinery in Southampton from Lagos, Nigeria and left Nigeria on the 5th of October.

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“According to a source close to the shipping company, the crew were aware of stowaways on board, but the stowaways became violent towards the crew while it was off the Isle of Wight.

“The crew retreated to the ship’s citadel, a secure area in which they can lock themselves, making it impossible for attackers to get in.

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“This is standard procedure during a terrorist or pirate attack, but there is no suggestion the crew were doing more than protecting themselves from the stowaways. The crew contacted the coastguard, which then alerted police.

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“The men, from Nigeria and Liberia, waved metal poles and threw faeces and urine after being found hiding on the Grande Tema,” BBC said.

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The British Chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, said the stowaways taking over the ship, or forcing the ship not to be in command could have triggered a ” multi-agency alarm” which caused protocols to be put into action.

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Business

#EndSARS protest: Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria sues for peace

Chairman of the Cross River State PFN has urged protesting youth to sheathe their sword and give peace a chance.

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#EndSARS protest: Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria sues for peace

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) join the list of well-meaning organizations advocating for peace in this critical time, just as the body urged the protesting youth to sheathe their sword, and give peace a chance.

The appeal comes after weeks of protests that have rocked different parts of the country. Making this vital call is the Chairman of PFN, Cross River State chapter, Dr. Lawrence Ekwok, who made the appeal in a statement made available to The Vanguard.

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What they are saying

Dr. Lawrence said, “On behalf of the entire leadership and membership of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, (the umbrella body of all Pentecostal Churches) in Cross River State, I hereby appeal to all protesting youths in Cross River state to sheath their swords.

“I wholeheartedly feel and share in their pains that may have provoked the protests, however, have made their points loud and clear; I, therefore, appeal for restraint and call for calm and a stop to further destruction of property in the state.

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“This is especially so as the public property belongs to the people of Cross River State and not to any individual whether in government or out of government, just as it will not be fair to destroy property belonging to private persons or concerns who are contributing to the development of Cross River State.

“I am confident that our well-meaning youth will heed this call even as I pray that the Lord God Almighty will bless them and intervene speedily and restore peace to Cross River State in Jesus name, Amen!”

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READ: FG asks UK court for more time to appeal $9.6 billion arbitration judgement

Why this matter

The call is a step in the right direction, as it will help to reduce tension and avert looming religious, political, and ethnic crises that are capable of destabilizing the country. Therefore, it will be remarkable for other religious bodies, ethnic, and religious leaders to rise up to the challenge of condemning the arson and looting that have pervaded the nooks and crannies of the nation.

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Business

UPDATE: Lagos State reviews curfew again, now from 8pm to 6am

Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu has once again reviewed the curfew in the state to now commence between 8 pm to 6 am.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has further reviewed the curfew earlier imposed on the state to help contain the large scale violence following the hijacked #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings. The curfew now starts at 8 pm and ends at 6 am daily.

This is coming 2 days after the Governor had eased the 24-hour curfew to start from 6 pm to 8 am daily.

This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, on Sunday, October 25, 2020.

Omotosho also asked residents of the state to go about their lawful duties, noting however that public and private schools in the state remain shut till further notice due to the security situation

The Commissioner in his statement said, “The curfew in Lagos State has been reviewed. Restriction time is now 8 pm to 6 am. Lagosians are enjoined to plan their journey times as they go about their lawful businesses. Public schools remain shut till further notice.”

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Nairametrics had reported the imposition of an indefinite 24-hour curfew by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, following the outbreak of widespread violence across the state leading the loss of lives and looting and destruction of public and private assets.

This was later reviewed on Saturday, with the easing of the curfew, which is now expected to start from 8 am to 6 pm.

What this means

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This new review gives Lagosians an extra 4 hours to go about their daily activities.

What to expect

The Lagos State government will keep on reviewing and relaxing the curfew, as long as the security situation does not spike again.

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