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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Lagos releases schedule of on-going criminal prosecution of police officers

Lagos State Government commences criminal prosecution of police officers accused of human rights abuses in the state.

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The Lagos State Government has released a schedule of some cases to be heard in the criminal prosecution of police officers for offenses related to violation of human rights in the state.

The schedule was released by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, via his official Twitter handle. He tweeted a screenshot of the schedule with the caption, “Today seems like a good day to get on to the work of rebuilding Lagos and ending police brutality. To show our commitment to the latter, here is a list of ongoing prosecution of police officers for offenses related to the violation of human rights in Lagos.”

READ: EndSARS: Police bans SARS from carrying out routine patrols

Backstory

Following the nationwide protests tagged #EndSARS which was targeted at addressing police brutality, especially crimes allegedly committed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Police, the Governor had promised to set a judicial panel of inquiry to prosecute the officers of crimes related to and including extortion, armed robbery, abduction, torture, and murder.

READ: #EndSARS: NPA headquarters set on fire by hoodlums

It should be noted that the establishment of the judicial panel is one of the 5 – of -5 demands made by the #EndSARS movement, for justice to be achieved for victims of SARS atrocious crimes.

What they are saying

Commenting on the latest development, the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice for Lagos state, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) said, “I wish to inform members of the public that the Lagos State Ministry of Justice has been committed over time to the prosecution of the listed related cases of police abuses.

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I call on members of the public to keep track of our ongoing diligent prosecution of these matters in the overall public interest.”

READ: #EndSARS: Lagos orders investigation of Lekki Toll Plaza shooting

Why it matters 

The latest action by the Lagos State Government is a welcome development as it is a major boost in finding a lasting solution. This will serve as a deterrent to other erring officers and give justice to the victims.  

READ: Malabu Scandal: Netherland, Switzerland to send $200 million to Nigeria

Some of the listed cases are as follows:

1. State of Lagos v. 1) Insp. Surulere Irede 2) Sgt. Sunday Ogunyemi 3) Corp. Hezekiah Babatunde – Manslaughter. Adjourned to 13/11/2020. Justice Ogunsanya

2. The State of Lagos v. Ogunyemi Olalekan – Murder. Adjourned to 5/11/2020. Hon Justice Coker.

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3. State of Lagos v. Sgt. Gbanwuan Isaac – Grievous Bodily Harm. Set for arraignment. Justice Sholadoye.

4. State of Lagos v. Aminu Joseph – Murder. Adjournment date to be announced. Hon Justice Nicole Clay.

5. State of Lagos v. Sgt. Alechenu Benedict – Armed Robbery. Arraigned. Hon Justice Coker.

6. State of Lagos v. Sgt. Adebayo Abdullah – Involuntary Manslaughter. Adjourned to 28/11/2020. Hon Justice Coker.

7. State of Lagos v. Insp. A Mohammed and 2 ORS – Armed Robbery. Adjourned to 10/11/2020. Hon Justice Sonaike.

8. State of Lagos v. Matthew Ohansi – Murder. Adjourned to 19/11/2020

9. State of Lagos v. 1) Sgt. Segun Okun 2) Capt. Adekunle Oluwarotimi – Manslaughter and Attempted Murder. Last adjournment date 15/7/2020, Court to give the next date. Hon Justice Nicole Clay.

10. State of Lagos v. Adamu Dare – Murder. Last adjournment date 29/09/2020, Court to give the next date. Hon Justice Nicole Clay.

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11. State of Lagos v. Sgt. Mark Argo and 5 ORS – Conspiracy and Armed Robbery. Next adjournment date 18/11/2020. Hon Justice Nicole Clay.

12. State of Lagos v. Corp. Pepple Boma – Manslaughter. Court to give the next date. Hon Justice Nicole Clay.

13. State of Lagos v. Insp. Emmanuel Akpobana – Attempted Murder. Court to give a ruling date. Hon Justice Balogun.

14. State of Lagos v. Emmanuel Uyankweke – Involuntary Manslaughter. The case part held. Hon Justice Akintoye.

15. State of Lagos v. Akanbi Lukmon – Involuntary Manslaughter. Information filed.

16. State of Lagos v. Edokhe Omokhide – Murder. Adjourned to 12/11/2020. Hon Justice Akinkigbe

17. State of Lagos v. Afolabi Saka – Murder. Newly filed.

18. State of Lagos v. Monday Gabriel – Murder. Newly filed.

19. State of Lagos v. Yahya Adeshina. Involuntary Manslaughter. Ready for filing.

20. State of Lagos v. Aremu Museliu – Murder. Ready for arraignment. Hon Justice Shonaike.

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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    Business News

    Lekki Tollgate Shooting: US says security forces shot in the air, no information on fatalities

    The U.S Government has said that the Nigerian security forces fired shots into the air to disperse #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate.

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    Victims of #EndSARS protest receive interest free loans worth N10.5 million, #EndSARS: A day by day timeline of the protest that has brought Nigeria to its knees.

    The United States Government has said that the Nigerian security forces fired shots into the air to disperse #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020.

    This contradicts allegations from media reports that some eyewitnesses saw soldiers firing live ammunition at the peaceful protesters.

    This disclosure is contained in the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria released by the US Department of State on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

    The report pointed out that there was no accurate information on the number of fatalities from the shootings contrary to Amnesty International’s report that 10 people died during the incident as a result of gunshot wounds.

    READ: Lagos State police says no protest happened at Lekki Tollgate, describes viral video as fake

    What the report on Human Rights Practices on Nigeria is saying

    The report partly reads, “On Oct. 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters, who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

    Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end.

    Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organisation was able to verify the claim.

    READ: Lekki shooting: LCC video footage shows soldiers arriving in several trucks

    The government reported two deaths connected to the event. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma.

    A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds. The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate.”

    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that in the aftermath of the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, US-based media outfit, Cable News Network (CNN), in its investigate report, aired a video allegedly showing Nigerian soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters at the tollgate, based on video evidence from mobile phones and witnesses.
    • The Federal Government in its response insisted that the military did not shoot at the #EndSARS protesters, describing the alleged mass killings as a massacre without bodies.
    • Also, President Muhammadu Buhari, while expressing his disgust at the coverage of the incident by foreign media organisations like CNN and BBC, said that their reports on the EndSARS protests were not balanced.

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    Business

    ICPC Chairman reveals #EndSARS protests was financed with cryptocurrency

    ICPC Chairman has revealed to the Nigerian Senate that the #EndSARS protest was largely funded with cryptocurrency.

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    School feeding, ICPC, FIRS moves to stop tax evasion with newly launched intelligence system 

    The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye has revealed to the Nigerian Senate that the #EndSARS protest was largely funded with cryptocurrency.

    This is as he said there are strong indications that it could be used to fund Insurgency in the country.

    According to a report from Vanguard, this disclosure was made by the ICPC Chairman, during an interactive session with Senate Joint Committee on Banking, ICT, Cybercrime and Capital Market led by Senator Uba Sani on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

    READ: ICPC uncovers N9.8 billion Government money hidden in Aso Savings

    The Joint committee was mandated to look at the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban Cryptocurrency in Nigeria.

    The ICPC boss while supporting the position of the CBN, said that the nature of operations of Cryptocurrency exposes it to money laundering and terrorism financing.

    Meanwhile, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said that the agency averted a $3million fraud linked to 20 bank accounts.

    READ: ICPC moves against NDDC top management over corruption allegations, quizzes directors

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    Owasanoye further explained that the anti-graft agency currently has a number of cases linked to Cryptocurrency but is unable to track the suspects.

    He brought the attention of the Senate to a period in 2018 when a number of globally rated financial institutions said their financial statements had been hacked with the perpetrators asking to be paid in Cryptocurrencies.

    ICPC Chairman noted that the CBN as a regulator has the responsibility to ensure sound financial stability and it will be difficult to achieve in the case of Cryptocurrencies where the players are anonymous.

    While sharing the experience of the Indian Supreme Court and how it ruled and admitted that it does not know what it is, he urged the Lawmakers to as a matter of urgency, take decisive action against Cryptocurrencies.

    READ: Most powerful financial leader takes side with CBN, says Bitcoin is untrustworthy

    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the CBN had directed the financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of such persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
    • The apex bank warned the Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
    • The latest directive is coming after the CBN had in 2018 stated that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and as such are illegal.

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