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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include Lekki toll gate incident – Sanwo-Olu

Sanwo-Olu has said that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident at Lekki toll gate.

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The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that Lagos State will not burn on his watch, as he tries to calm things down after hoodlums wreaked havoc post-Lekki shootings, and announced that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident at Lekki toll gate.

The Governor announced this in a statement on Friday evening, where he tried to assure Lagosians that the state was working to find justice for Police brutality victims, and urged for peace.

READ: #EndSARS: Nigerian Army denies soldiers shot at Lekki protesters

Recall Nairametrics reported that the Lagos State Government had earlier announced that it was working towards stabilizing things across the state and rebuilding through verification of victims and had called on youth leaders to provide representatives for a judicial panel.

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On friday evening’s statement, Sanwo-Olu said, “Today, on our journey across Lagos, we paid respect to the ones we have lost. It was an emotional time for everyone, and we will find a way to remember them in the coming days.

READ: LCC confirms perimiter cameras were not removed from Lekki Toll

“No other state has this unique combination of people living in peace, harmony and progress so it saddened me when I went round for an on-the-spot assessment to ascertain the level of destruction to public assets and private properties.”

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He likened the destruction experienced in the state to that of a war zone, and urged citizens not to incite violence.

“Our beautiful city has seen a level of destruction almost akin to a war zone. It was a shocking and very sad spectacle. Our land took a beating and this hurts. Historical buildings, cultural centres, private malls, government holdings and private businesses were pillaged & burnt,” he said.

“This is not the Lagos we know. I am the 15th governor of the state and Lagos has never witnessed this level of destruction. The oldest court in Nigeria was razed down. Many properties were completely destroyed. It is time to heal ourselves and time to heal Lagos.

READ: #EndSARS: A day by day timeline of the protest that has brought Nigeria to its knees.

“I will like to advise and implore citizens to resist the urge to instigate or incite people to violence especially on social media.”

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He added that the State Government had visited victims of brutality in the past week, and announced that the state would cover all the medical bills.

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“We also visited the various hospitals today to check on the progress of victims that were brought in from events this week. It was heartwarming to note that quite a number have been discharged. We have also indicated that we will be picking all the bills.

“Lagos will not burn. Not on my watch. Enough is enough. We want peace and we will get peace. As shocking and sad as this situation is, we must come out of the ashes of destruction strong and with a determination that this unfortunate situation will not kill the spirit of Lagos.”

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

The Governor added that Judicial panel set up by the State would also include cases that happened at the Lekki Toll gate incident, which has gathered international attention.

“We have expanded the terms of reference for the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include the incident at the Lekki toll gate. If you have any claims, do send them to the panel. The panel will begin to sit on Monday at the Lagos Court of Arbitration situated in Lekki.

“We have to renew our commitment to peace, progress, social cohesion and make a promise to ourselves that never again shall we allow the forces of darkness take over our land.”

Nairametrics also reported that state Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, announced that Lagos State Government was set to support the owners of stores that were looted this week, when the #EndSARS protests were hijacked by hoodlums.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Protest hijack was catalysed by fake news – Lai Mohammed

The hijack of #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said.

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Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has claimed that the hijack of the #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media.
The Minister disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting with members of the broadcasting organizations of Nigeria (BON) on Friday in Abuja.

He said, “The violence that resulted from the hijack of the #EndSARS protest was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media. And this did not come to us as a surprise. As far back as 2017, we had been raising the alarm on the risks posed by fake news and disinformation.
“That year, we devoted the National Council on Information to the issue of fake news, hate speech, and disinformation. The following year, in 2018, we launched the national campaign against fake news and disinformation, partnering with a number of print and electronic media organizations.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen, social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties, both public and private, during the #EndSARS violence. Then, pictures of persons, including some celebrities and even non-Nigerians, who were supposedly killed at the Lekki Toll Gate by soldiers, were circulated widely, only for those persons to refute such claims.
 
“This brings me to the issue of social media regulation. You must have heard about the hoopla this issue has generated in the media. Well, I want to confirm that we will definitely act to ensure a responsible use of social media. You may call that regulation.
He added that the FG had no plans to stifle press freedom in Nigeria and had no intention of shutting down the internet.
 
“This government has no plan to stifle free speech, neither do we have any intention of shutting down the internet. 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,” he said.
What you should know 
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Lai Mohammed said the Federal Government had no plans of shutting down social media, but must regulate it to prevent the spread of hate speech.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS Sanctions: Nigeria has reached out to the UK Government – Foreign Minister

Onyeama has stated that the FG has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the Nigerian Government has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.

The Minister disclosed this to Newsmen at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Thursday, which was recorded by Channels TV.

READ: Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly

He added that the UK Parliament did not speak for the UK government, and that the UK had heard the Nigerian government’s side regarding the incident at Lekki.

READ: FG reacts to CNN report, describes Lekki shooting as massacre without bodies

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“On the issue of the UK parliament, yes, we have reached out to the UK government on this question. The meeting that took place was of Parliamentarians, they don’t speak for the UK government and the UK government which acts for the United Kingdom has also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that happened.

READ: #EndSARS: Bankers’ Committee, Private sector lead Lagos rebuilding team to raise trust fund

“So we are in touch with them and engaging with them. But, of course, as in any democracy, the Members of Parliament are able to also air their views, but what is important is that a balanced picture is made available to them all before they take any decision,” Onyeama said.

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READ: DPR approves new Liquefied Petroleum Gas guidelines for investors, operators

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported earlier this week that the British Parliament had announced it would consider a petition by some groups and individuals, asking it to apply sanctions against the Nigerian government and officials for alleged human rights violations during the #EndSARS protest and Lekki shooting incident.

Also, the presidency earlier disclosed that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had a meeting with the UK Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, accompanied by the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: States affected by violence should get 1% VAT – Senate

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The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to give states that were affected by lootings and destruction by hoodlums after the anti-police brutality protests,  1% of all Value Added Tax (VAT).

This motion was moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey on Tuesday and disclosed in a report by Channels TV.

What you should know 

After the lootings and destruction by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests, Nairametrics reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized in the process.

The Senators moving the motion declared that destruction caused in Lagos by hoodlums was valued at a range of over N1 trillion by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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(READ MORE: #EndSARS: Insurance firms can seek refund after indemnifying victims – MD, NICON Insurance)

Senator Gershom Bassey also revealed that hoodlums attacked federal properties in Calabar like the WAEC office and looted food warehouses in the state.

“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over the years,” Bassey disclosed.

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Senator Sani Musa said the lootings which started in Lagos spread to other states, leading to the destruction of properties and urged for the FG’s assistance.

“#EndSARS came as a peaceful protest, but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate. The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility,” Musa said.

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