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ENDSARS

FG reacts to CNN report, describes Lekki shooting as massacre without bodies

The Minister of Information has described CNN’s reports on Lekki shootings as massacre without bodies.

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FG reacts to CNN report, describes Lekki shooting as massacre without bodies, Lai Mohammed, 5G Network

The Federal Government has insisted that the military men did not shoot at #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, describing the alleged mass killings as a massacre without bodies.

This follows a recent investigative report by US-based media, Cable News Network (CNN), in which they published a video, allegedly showing Nigerian soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, based on video evidence from mobile phones of witnesses.

READ: ICPC moves against NDDC top management over corruption allegations, quizzes directors

According to a report by Channels Television, this was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at a press conference in Abuja.

The CNN said that contrary to the submission by the army that blank bullets were fired at the protesters, their investigative report revealed that live were fired directly at the protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

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READ: #EndSARS: CCTV footage from day of Lekki shootings played at Judicial Panel

While referring to the CNN report as promoting a baseless and preconceived narrative, Mohammed said that the media organization relied on social media video evidence without verification

The minister criticized CNN’s report on the Lekki incident describing it as blatantly irresponsible.

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READ: FAAN denies allegation of stolen N750 million, admits breach of procurement process

He said that the mainstream media should confirm the veracity of footage used before airing and also pointed out that the government will work with stakeholders to curb fake news on social media.

Going further, Mohammed said that those who were saying that there was an alleged massacre at the Tollgate only succeeded in misleading the world. He said anyone that has a contrary proof that the army shot at protesters or there was a massacre at Lekki Tollgate, should make them available to the panel investigating the matter.

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]

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    November 19, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Why won’t he consider it a lie? And how on earth will a man of almost 70 be minister of information when his thinking is still in 19th century…. Until this reaches their individual abode they won’t know how it feels..

  2. Big Magnus

    November 19, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    You threaten protesters, prosecute activists, freeze bank accounts, confiscate passports and then you have the guts to say “where are the bodies”? You have killed our youths and now you want other youths to be persecuted if they talk. Mr Lie Mohammed, you are a shame and you bring disgrace to our country.

    If no live bullets where fired, how did bullet casings of live bullets in great number enter the hands of protestors? Any Google search will show you the very evident difference between live and blank bullet casings. There is zero margin of error.

    How did protestors end up with bullet holes in their bodies? You and this government are criminals and a disgrace! This impunity and insult to our intelligence must stop. The orders for this military operation should be viewed as they were issued by the Commander-in-Chief. The officer in command court martialed, dismissed from the Nigerian Army and jailed. Civilian string pullers, such as unscrupulous politicians, who were involved in this massacre should be prosecuted and jailed.

    PMB should apologize for this black day in our history – the day our Army opened fire on unarmed, peaceful youths singing our National Anthem – and resign. Interestingly enough, in far-away Peru, in South America, the President last week resigned after his security forces opened fire on protesters causing the death of 2 (!) civilians.

    Mr Lie Mohammed, we live in 2020, not 1983. You cannot make these pronouncements in the face of scientific evidence and try to absolve criminals and this failing government of their responsibility in outright murder.

    God is watching and your time too will come. Do your part to bring justice to our country and change the narrative before it is too late.

    • Anonymous

      November 20, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Well stated. Well 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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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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