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ENDSARS

#EndSARS Protest: Lagos directs release of 253 persons arrested by police

253 of the number of persons arrested by police over criminal offences during the #EndSARS riots have been ordered to be released.

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The Lagos State Government has directed the immediate release of 253 persons arrested by the police for criminal offences in connection with the #EndSARS protests in the state, due to non-disclosure of a prima facie case against them by the police force.

This directive was contained in a statement issued earlier on Sunday by the Office of Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo.

The statement explained that the Nigeria Police forwarded 40 case files to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for Legal Advice, between 4th and 5th of November, 2020, in respect of the 361 persons arrested for criminal offences

The statement reads, “Legal Advice has been issued in respect of all the 40 case files received, and as at 6th November 2020, the Directorate had been able to dispatch Legal Advice in respect of 81 persons, who are being charged to the various courts, while others will be dispatched to court on Monday, 9th November 2020.’’

“Out of the 361 persons, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall be prosecuting 92 persons for different offences ranging from arson, stealing, breaking into buildings, armed robbery, and murder, while the Office has advised that 253 persons be released forthwith for non-disclosure of a prima facie case. In the meantime, two case files in respect of 16 persons have been advised for further investigation by the Police.’’

The statement also assured that the Office of the Attorney-General of Lagos State will ensure that those arrested by the Police are treated in accordance with the due process of the law, while it remains committed to maintaining the rule of law and ensuring peace and order in the State.

What you should know

It can be recalled that the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings which started peacefully, was later taken over by hoodlums and criminal elements, who engaged in widespread violence with the looting and destruction of public and private infrastructures.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had estimated that it would take the state about N1 trillion to rebuild the damaged and looted assets.

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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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

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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ENDSARS

#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.

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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.

READ: #EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu presents Buhari report on Lagos destruction by hoodlums

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.

READ: #EndSARS: Freezing of accounts may trigger further protests – Tunde Bakare

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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