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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Activists petition courts to unfreeze accounts of supporters

The court order permitting Emefiele to freeze their accounts for 90 days was a violation of their right to fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

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#EndSARS: Activists petition courts to unfreeze accounts of supporters

The Federal High Court in Abuja has been petitioned by 16 persons, who participated in the #EndSARS protests in October and had their accounts frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to unfreeze their accounts.

This was disclosed by Channels TV on Friday evening. The people with frozen accounts are represented by prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).

READ: Most Nigerian banks may fail stress tests if economic downturn persists

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported last week that CBN had received the nod of the Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests till January.

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The CBN told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.

READ: #EndSARS: Nigerian ex-presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba sues Twitter and its founder, Jack Dorsey for $1 billion

Channels said, “While contending that the freezing of their bank accounts was an act of illegality, they stressed that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele froze the accounts before approaching the court much later for a freezing order.”

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They also argued that the court order permitting Emefiele to freeze their accounts for 90 days was a violation of their right to fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

READ: What happens after the expiration of the 99 years lease term for land?

The campaigners also added that the acts of freezing accounts violates Order 26 Rules 5, 10, and 11(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, which prescribes a maximum of 14 days for the validity of an ex parte order. They said the CBN did not have the power to label them as terrorists, citing the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011, and the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2013.

The 16 persons involved in the suit are Bolatito ‘Rinu’ Oduala, Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye, Adegoke Pamilerin, Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mary Oshifowora and Idunnu Williams.

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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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#EndSARS Sanctions: Nigeria has reached out to the UK Government - Foreign Minister, Chinese Visa Restriction: Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues clarification, London evacuation flight rescheduled to July 14

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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ENDSARS

FG petitions CNN over investigative report on Lekki shooting, threatens action

The Federal Government has petitioned CNN over its alleged bias report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting.

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The Federal Government has written a petition to the US-based Cable News Network (CNN), demanding an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting, to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.

The government berated CNN for its investigative report on the #EndSARS protest in Lekki area of Lagos, pointing out that the media outfit breached the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness.

In the petition written by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications) in CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia; the government said that if the international media organization does not carry out its demand, it will take any action within its laws to prevent CNN from making the #EndSARS crisis worse.

According to a report from Punch, the government’s letter dated November 23, 2020, is titled “Re: How a bloody night of bullets quashed a young protest movement”.

The letter reads: “Our attention has been drawn to an ‘investigation’ by CNN, entitled ‘How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement’ and aired on 18 Nov. 2020, in which the international news organization said it uncovered that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria, during the #EndSARS protest.”

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“We write to put on record that the report did not just fall short of journalistic standards, it reinforces the disinformation that is going around on the issue. It is blatantly irresponsible and it is a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.

“In the first instance, the report did not live up to the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness. According to the website www.ethics.journalists.org, balance and fairness are classic buzzwords of journalism ethics: In objective journalism, stories must be balanced in the sense of attempting to present all sides of a story. Fairness means that a journalist should strive for accuracy and truth in reporting, and not slant a story that makes a reader draw the reporter’s desired conclusion.”

What you should know

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It can be recalled that CNN in its investigative report broadcasted on November 18, disclosed that the Nigerian army allegedly fired live ammunition directly at unarmed protesters, who peacefully assembled at the Lekki Tollgate during the #EndSARS protests. While confirming some deaths, CNN said it spoke with over 100 protesters and family members, but didn’t speak to any government official.

In response to the Federal Government’s criticism of the report, which it described as a blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work, CNN insisted that it was standing by its report.

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