By Adedapo Adesanya
The United Nations (UN) has called on the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up to investigate issues surrounding the #EndSARS protests of 2020.
This call was given by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, noting that the submission of the report of the panel was a welcome development.
“I welcome the submission to the Lagos State Governor, H.E. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of the reports of the judicial panel on claims of brutality and shooting in the Lekki area of Lagos State, during the 2020 #EndSARS protests,” he said.
Mr Kallon noted that the submission of the findings of the judicial panel would accelerate the process of justice and accountability.
“I urge the government to implement the recommendations of the judicial panel of inquiry to rebuild trust and start the process of healing and reconciliation,” he added.
On Monday, the panel, established to look into the shootings at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020, submitted its report to the Lagos State Government.
However, a leaked version of the report indicting the state government and the Nigerian Army was released on the Internet, leading to an uproar across social media.
In the report, the panel indicted soldiers and implicated Nigeria’s security agents in the killing and forced disappearances of harmless and unarmed youths protesting at Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020.
The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel made the revelation in a 309-page report submitted to Governor Sanwo-Olu, which found that at least 48 protesters were either shot dead or injured or assaulted.
Also, page 294 of the report read: “The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters, while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a ‘massacre’ in context.”
On page 295: “It was alleged and corroborated that the soldiers had their vans parked at the Lekki Toll Gate and removed as many bodies and corpses of the fallen protesters which they took away with their vans.”
According to the report, “the Nigerian Army was invited for intervention in the State and was deployed to Lekki Toll Gate on the 20th of October 2020.
“At the Lekki Toll Gate, officers of the Nigerian Army shot, injured and killed unarmed helpless and defenceless protesters, without provocation or justification, while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the National Anthem and the manner of assault and killing could, in context, be described as a massacre.
“The Panel also found that the conduct of the Nigerian Army was exacerbated by its refusal to allow ambulances render medical assistance to victims who required such assistance.
“The Army was also found not to have adhered to its own Rules of Engagement.
“The Panel found that the Nigerian Police Force deployed its officers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of the 20th October 2020 and between that night and the morning of the 21st of October, 2020, its officer shot at, assaulted and battered unarmed protesters, which led to injuries and deaths.
“The police officers also tried to cover up their actions by picking up bullets.
“The panel found that LCC hampered the panel’s investigation by refusing to turn over some useful and vital information/evidence as requested by the Panel and the Forensic Expert engaged by the panel, even where such information and evidence was by the company’s admission, available.
“It manipulated the incomplete CCTV Video footage of the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of the 20th of October 2020, which it tendered before the Panel.
“The Panel found that there was an invitation of the Nigerian Army to Lagos State made by the Lagos State Government through the Governor before the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army deployed its soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of the 20th of October.
“The Panel found that there was an attempt to cover up the Incident of the 20th of October by the cleaning of the Lekki Toll Gate and the failure to preserve the scene ahead of potential investigations.”
In its recommendations, the panel recommended various sums of compensation to victims of the Lekki Toll Gate Incident, which must be expeditious in order to accelerate the healing process.
It also recommended that any data that may have been generated over the years on the impunity of the Police across Nigeria be studied and deployed as early warning signs (EWS) mechanism.
Others include sanctioning of the officers of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force respectively who participated in the shooting, injuring and killing of unarmed protestors at the Lekki Toll Gate on the 20 and 21st of October 2020; Development of more robust engagement between the Youth and the Government; Setting up of a Standing Committee/Tribunal to deal with cases of Violation of Human Rights by security agencies and a trust fund to settle compensation awarded by such committee/tribunal, among others.
IPMAN May Halt Fuel Distribution to Sokoto, Kebbi, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Gusau Depot, has threatened to stop transporting petroleum products within Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and parts of Katsina state.
According to the IPMAN’s Zonal Chairman, Mr Yahya Kamba, the threat came following the federal government’s failure to settle its N40 billion outstanding payment to IPMAN members.
According to Mr Kamba, the payment is based on importation and transportation claims of up to 11 months.
He said the federal government has reneged on the agreement reached with the association.
“It is not a subsidy,” Mr Kamba said, explaining that. “It is money that we marketers contributed. We have to pay a certain amount for every litre we purchase from the government. Just for the country to have a uniform pump price.”
“We contributed this money just the way pensioners contribute their own. So, there is no reason anyone can give us to say they have no money. We are asking for our own contribution.
“Our arrangement is for the Ministry to pay us every week; when you transport this product, you are supposed to be paid within a week; but now we are counting months. We have counted up to 11 months. The payment has stopped since June 2021,” he added.
Amid the recent fuel shortage that rocked Abuja, the marketers had claimed that there was no money to buy the product until the federal government pays the claims and also assist in allocating a cargo of AGO to hasten loading from various loading depots.
EFCC Questions Ex-NDDC Boss Nsima Ekere Over N47bn Fraud
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere, has been grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former NDDC boss was at the Lagos office of the agency on Wednesday to honour an invitation to him to answer questions surrounding an alleged fraud to the tune of N47 billion.
In 2016, a year after losing the governorship primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to Governor Udom Emmanuel, he was appointed as the MD of the commission.
He left office in 2018 to concentrate on his ambition to rule his home state and contested the gubernatorial poll in 2019 under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost again to Mr Emmanuel.
In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019 and the report of the exercise, according to the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio, said several frauds were uncovered.
The EFCC, reports said, has been trailing Mr Ekere and yesterday, he turned himself in and he was questioned on the allegations of contract inflation and award of fictitious contracts while in office.
This development is coming two days after the anti-money laundering organisation arrested the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, over allegations of diversion of N80 billion.
He was suspended yesterday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainah Ahmed, to enable a transparent investigation into the matter.
Also, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs Patricia Etteh, was apprehended on Tuesday by the agency over allegations of diversion of funds for projects.
IPMAN, EFCC Move Against Oil Theft, Vandalism in N’Delta
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has sought the support and intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of IPMAN, Mr Bello Binna, during a visit to the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, in his office.
Mr Binna said that the EFCC was the only agency trusted to give solutions on issues of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, IPMAN was more comfortable with what the EFCC is doing to curb
“We are here to collaborate with the Agency with which we are more comfortable, and we believe that with your support, our jobs will have a headway.
“In the past, our efforts have been wasted, we were advised that the agency that has the mandate to make our job effectively is the EFCC,” he said.
Responding, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, said the EFCC was working tirelessly to put an end to the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.
Mr Nwokike also stressed the need to educate youths within the region on the ills of oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“I assure you that the EFCC has the desire to reduce, if not bring to an end, the menace of illegal oil bunkering.
“We will educate our youths on the dangers of this, which is part of our mandate, educating our youths on why they must leave these illegalities. We must all come together to see how we can tackle this menace. I want to assure you that we will work together,” he said.
Latest News on Business Post
- Your Beauty Business Deserves The Best Brand Name. Here’s How to Get it May 20, 2022
- Buhari Appoints Adamu Tutuwa as New FIIRO DG May 20, 2022
- Explainer: What is Monkeypox Virus? May 20, 2022
- IPMAN May Halt Fuel Distribution to Sokoto, Kebbi, Others May 20, 2022
- We Need Entrepreneur-friendly Policies—Daniel Adewoye Olamide May 20, 2022
- Nigeria Eyes $2bn Revenue from Advertising Sector After Reform May 20, 2022
- FG to Announce New Date for Postponed FAAC Meeting for May 2022 May 20, 2022
- Bulls Return to Unlisted Securities Market on 0.21% Growth May 20, 2022
- MTN Assures Nigerians Affordable Financial Services as MoMo PSB Begins Operations May 20, 2022
- Naira Drops 0.34% at P2P, 0.26% at Investors’ FX Segment May 20, 2022