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ENDSARS

South-west ministers demand probe of military over involvement in Lekki shooting

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The Ministers from South-West Nigeria, who were directed and given a week to relocate to their home states and interface with their State Governors, stakeholders, and the protesting youths, as part of efforts to douse the tension generated by #EndSARS protests, have submitted their report to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

This was disclosed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting.

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Fashola said that Ministers of the South West extraction recommended that the Federal Government should seek and support the process of justice for all by ensuring that any of those apprehended and identified to be involved in the perpetration of the Lekki carnage be speedily be brought to justice and fairly tried.

In the submitted report, the Ministers demanded a thorough investigation of the involvement of the Nigerian military in the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

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The Ministers, also in their report to FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, recommended that the Federal Government should support the Lagos State Government in replacing damaged facilities in the state.

They also urged Federal Government to consider short and medium-term support to small and medium businesses that were affected by the looting and arson that took place in Lagos and other parts of the country through the Central Bank Intervention Mechanism under the COVID-19 funding.

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Fashola said, “The highlight of the brief was to make recommendations to the Federal Government to support Lagos State to restore damaged facilities especially those related to the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice such as police, court buildings and forensic laboratory.’’

“To also consider supporting the Lagos High Court Judges either with the provision of some office accommodation as a temporary relocation when that requested is made, of course it was hinted during the visit.’’

“To also urged the federal government to consider short to medium term support to small and medium businesses who were affected by the looting and arson which took place in Lagos and other parts of the country, to see if something can be done through the Central Bank Intervention Mechanism under the COVID-19 funding or any other related funding mechanism.’’

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“And to also ensure that whatever is approved should also involve the National Economic Council, the platform on which state governors meet, so that other states across the country who were also affected, businesses were damaged can benefit in addition to Lagos residence who may so be supported.’’

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“We also urged federal government should undertake a thorough investigation into what happened in the Lekki Toll Plaza, particularly the role of the military and ensure that the outcome is made public with a view to achieving closure on the matter.’’

We also recommended the Federal Government to actively seek and support the process of justice for all by ensuring that any of those apprehended and identified to be involved in the perpetration of this carnage be speedily be brought to justice and fairly tried.’’

Fashola pointed out that the ministers met with governors from the zone and the governors’ position was that Lagos being the epicentre, a commercial and strategic city-state in the South West and the country should be their point of call.

While briefing the council about the reports that were presented to them by the Lagos state government on their visit to the state, Fashola disclosed that the summary is that about 15 police stations were lost, commercial undertakings especially the ones in Lekki and many other parts in Surulere were damaged, some schools were also damaged, private properties were also damaged and public buildings like the city hall, the Lagos High Court, Lagos Forensic Laboratory and DNA Center, the Nigeria Ports Authority, the palace of the Oba of Lagos and many others were also damaged.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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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.

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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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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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