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#EndSARS: Lagos State Judicial Panel has my full support – Buhari

President Buhari has given approval to all the state judicial panels as the trial of errant officers of the Police commences this week.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the Lagos State Judicial Panel has his full support, and expressed confidence in the outcomes of other panels set up by states.

The President disclosed this in a social media broadcast late Sunday evening.

“The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State Govt has my full support, as it commences sitting this week. I‘m confident that all the State Panels will help ensure justice is done on behalf of the peaceful protesters and law enforcement agents who sadly lost their lives,” Buhari said on Sunday.

What you should know

Following the nationwide protests against police brutality, tagged #EndSARS, one of the demands of the protesters was an establishment of a panel of judicial enquiry to try officers who have been involved in cases of human rights abuses and to give justice to victims and their families.

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Recall that Nairametrics reported that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had said that Lagos State would not burn on his watch, as he tried 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.

This came after the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, broke his silence on the #EndSARS protests last week, to announce that the 36 State Governors and the FCT Minister would set up judicial panels of inquiry that would adopt public hearings.

The #EndSARS protests gathered even more international coverage last week, after the Lekki shootings. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila also announced that it was unavoidably and painfully clear that there were a number of casualties, as a result of gunfire at the Lekki toll gate.

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What this means

Buhari’s national broadcast last week may not have mentioned anything about the widely talked about Lekki shootings as most Nigerians had expected, but the President’s endorsement of the state judicial panel of enquiry may be a step in the direction of regaining the confidence and trust of the people, reflecting the fact that their voices are beginning to be heard.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Insurance firms can seek refund after indemnifying victims – MD, NICON Insurance

NICON MD has stated that it is possible for the insurance firms to be compensated by the FG after victims have been indemnified.

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The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NICON Insurance Limited, Mr. Muhammadu Bagudu Hussaini, has advised Insurance firms to maximize certain provisions in the constitution that guarantees their refund after compensating victims of the recent #EndSARS protest, opining that it is possible for the insurance firms to be compensated by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He made the disclosure during an interview with the Daily Trust, where he decried the high level of losses encountered during the protest and the imminent high claims on insurance firms, which if care is not taken, might affect liquidity in the system.

Mr. Hussaini stated that the government has the machinery to pay the insurance companies without recourse to treasury, but he was quick to point out that it is a dormant machinery.

What they are saying

Elucidating his points, Mr. Hussaini said: “There will be a large volume of claims which the insurance industry would have to pay. I have no doubt about the capacity of the insurance industry to meet its obligations on claims that may arise from the destruction across the country.

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“However, two issues would arise because the context of the claims are huge and would come in at the same time. There will be no spread, thus this will impact the finances of the underwriters and may destabilize their finances.

“What happened was as a result of breakdown of law and order. Section 14 (2b) of the Nigerian Constitution vests the duty of guaranteeing security and providing for the welfare of the citizens in the hands of government – the executive precisely. I will look at the damages from the protest as a failure of the government to provide security and welfare for the citizens.

The section says the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Thus, insurance companies have a subrogation right – the right to recover from the government their funds after they pay the claims arising from the destruction.

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Therefore, I advise the insurance companies to pay their claims and seek refund on the basis of Section 14 (2b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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ENDSARS

EndSARS protests: British parliament to sanction request against Nigeria on Monday

The British Parliament will consider a petition demanding the British government applies sanctions against the Nigerian Government for alleged human rights violations.

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#EndSARS protest: Lagos loses N234million to tollgates closure, EndSARS protests: British parliament to sanction request against Nigeria on Monday

The British Parliament has disclosed that it will consider a petition by some groups and individuals, asking that it should apply sanctions against the Nigerian Government and officials for alleged human rights violations during the #EndSARS protest and Lekki shooting incident.

The parliament also claimed that the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate gave rise to the outbreak of violence and is waiting for the outcome of investigations by the federal and state governments into reports of police brutality and extra-judicial killings.

This disclosure was made by the parliament, in a response to a petition signed by over 220,118 individuals in the United Kingdom, requesting the UK Government to sanction Nigeria for alleged violations of human rights.

(READ MORE: #EndSARS: AU Commission calls for respect of human rights)

The response was signed by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and obtained from the official website of the parliament – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/554150.

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The reply from the parliament partly reads, “The UK Government is deeply concerned by violence during recent protests in Nigeria, which tragically claimed lives. Our thoughts are with the families of all those affected.”

“Parliament will debate this petition on November 23, 2020. You will be able to watch online on the UK Parliament YouTube channel. On July 6, the British Government established the Global Human Rights sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

“The Foreign Secretary set out in full the scope of the UK’s new Global Human Rights sanctions regime. He announced the first tranche of designations, as well as the Government’s approach to future designations.

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“This sanctions regime will give the UK a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. The sanctions regime is not intended to target individual countries.

“It will allow for sanctions to be imposed on individuals and entities involved in serious human rights violations or abuses around the world.

“We will continue to consider potential designations under the Global Human Rights sanctions regime. It is a longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations. The UK Government will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review,” the parliament said in its reply.

(READ MORE:#EndSARS: UN to support Nigeria in bridge-building and police reforms)

The response pointed out the different interventions that the British government had made as part of the efforts to draw the attention of the Federal Government to cases of human rights violation during the #EndSARS protest.

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The parliament asked the British government to look at the possibility of imposing new sanctions that allow individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted.

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To impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses during the protests.

It said the Foreign Secretary issued a statement on October 21 calling for an end to the violence and for the Nigerian Government to urgently investigate reports of brutality by its security forces and hold those responsible to account.

It can be recalled that there were petitions against the Nigerian government and public officials by Nigerians at the UK parliament over human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.

They called for the implementation of sanctions that would allow individuals and entities that violate human rights to be targeted.

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ENDSARS

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

Video footage played at the Lagos judicial panel of inquiry has shown the moment Nigerian Army trucks arrived at the Lekki Tollgate.

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

Video footage from the CCTV camera presented by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) has shown that several trucks, which allegedly belonged to the Nigerian Army, were seen being deployed to the Lekki Tollgate area of Lagos State on October 20—the day of the shooting incident.

According to Channels Television, this was discovered during the resumed sitting on Saturday, November 21, 2020, of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to probe incidents of police brutality and extra-judicial killings, and the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by the Nigerian army at the Lekki Tollgate.

READ: #EndSARS: There’s a possibility that hoodlums shot Lekki protesters – Malami

The video footage showed that the location was calm until 6.43 pm when some people could be seen running towards the tollgate from the Oriental Hotel as a number of trucks were seen arriving at the Lekki toll gate with flashing headlights.

It also showed that 10 minutes after the arrival of the military vehicles, the lights at the tollgate went off, with one of the vehicles driving through the tollgate to the other side where the crowd of protesters was gathered.

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READ: Lekki Shooting: LCC submits CCTV footage, says camera stopped working at 8 pm

However, after about three hours of watching the footage, the counsel to the #EndSARS protesters, Adeshina Ogunlana, who was earlier given access to the video complained that the footage was not the one that should have been played.

In his claims, he pointed out that a particular recording was omitted, explaining that he was given tapes tagged t1 and t1 full.

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READ: Lagos State launches N5 billion post-COVID-19 economic recovery support for MSMEs

At the resumed sitting, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd), who is the Chairman of the judicial panel, said she was calling up the Lekki Toll company first so that the footage of the happenings around the Lekki Toll Gate would be watched by all parties, including the Nigerian Army.

It can be recalled that the setting up of the Judicial Panel of inquiry was a fallout of the protests by Nigerians against police brutality and extra-judicial killings, with the victims expected to get redress.

READ: Lekki Tollgate Shooting: We were not told about the change of curfew time – Nigerian Army

The panel was also mandated to unravel the circumstances surrounding the Lekki shooting incident and the reported deaths.

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The Nigerian army, who initially denied its role in the incident, describing such reports as fake news, later came out to admit that officers had been deployed to the area on the invitation of the Lagos state government after a curfew had been imposed, due to the outbreak of violence and the destruction of public and private assets.

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