The President of the Nigerian Bar association, Olumide Akpata, has said that Nigerian Governors are well within their rights or the power of the law to set up panels of inquiry to determine if SARS went beyond their boundaries to violate the rights of citizens.
Mr. Akpata disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
What you should know
The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, first announced during the #EndSARS protests that the 36 State Governors and the FCT Minister will set up judicial panels of inquiry that will adopt public hearings.
Lagos State Government inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in the state, as the protests continued. The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident at Lekki toll gate.
President Muhammadu Buhari also stated that the Lagos State Judicial Panel had his full support, and expressed confidence in the outcomes of other panels set up by states.
In Sunday’s interview, the NBA President said it’s lawful for governors to set up panels to determine the scale of violations committed by SARS.
“I think the Governors are well within their rights or the power of the law to set up those panels of inquiry for the purpose of determining whether or not the now-disbanded SARS went beyond their remit.
“Whether or not the claims that we have from various Nigerians as to how they were mistreated or illegally treated by SARS are correct,” he said.
He added that the NBA has not received complaints on the legality of the Panels and has been invited to sit on some panels.
“We are of the view that those panels are well-constituted, and in some states, members of the Nigerians Bar Association have been invited to be on those panels,” he said.
On the powers that the governors have within the panels, Mr. Akpata said that the States have the right to determine if the violations happened and recommend the right steps to take to the Federal authorities.
“In my understanding of these panels, the way they have been constituted is to say ‘Yes, this happened’ or ‘No, that did not happen’ and recommend to the authorities what they think should be done with regard to those persons who are found to have broken the law or breached any provision of the law.
“I don’t think anybody has suggested for a second that these particular panels have the power to punish an individual or to jail anybody. That is not my understanding of these panels or what their remit covers,” he said.
Recall Nairametrics reported that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) condemned the killings of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday, 20th of October, adding that even if protesters were breaching curfew, such actions did not warrant the use of live ammunition by the Nigerian military.
Akpata, also disclosed in October that the right to protest is a fundamental right recognized by the Nigerian Constitution and upheld by Nigerian courts at all levels, and called for the protection of the rights of citizens participating in the peaceful protests across the country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#OccupyLekkiTollGate: Lagos Attorney-General explains large police presence at Lekki toll gate
Lagos Attorney-General has stated that the State does not support the abuse of peaceful protesters.
The Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo says that the reason for large numbers of policemen at the Lekki toll gate during Saturday’s protest was to prevent the protest from getting hijacked by hoodlums.
The Attorney-General of the State disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
“Our duty is to face the dictate of the law.
“The state does not derive any joy from seeing people brutalized, but we must ensure that we have a society where law and order prevails and where everyone is free and secure to go about their businesses.
“Your right to protests only extends to where the other person’s freedom of association starts,” Onigbanjo said.
He added that the State Government wanted to prevent any problems during the protests, citing Covid-19 regulations preventing the mass gathering of people and hoodlums hijacking the protests.
“I believe that was the desire of the state government yesterday that people can protests, but think about the Covid-19 regulations, the existing laws.
“We cannot afford the sort of vandalism we saw before, the state was genuinely apprehensive that hoodlums might take over a peaceful protest, we have seen this before. And that was why the police came out in large numbers that this did not degenerate the last time,” he added.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported over the weekend that Officers of the Nigerian Police Force arrested #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters at the Lekki toll gate on Saturday morning.
This was confirmed by multiple media images and videos on social media, showing the protesters being arrested and loaded inside police trucks and van, popularly known as Black Maria.
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