‘Policemen Beat Me Till I Peed On Myself’: Woman Tells Lagos Panel

 

An #EndSARS protester, Felicia Okpara, has testified against the police, saying she was brutalized by officers simply for recording the violence that took place during one of the protests in the Surulere area of Lagos State.

She said this on Friday while narrating her ordeal to the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.

Okpara told the panel that she had just concluded an interview in the area and was heading back home when she saw the protest and decided to join.

Shortly after, she heard gunshots and people started scampering for safety.

According to her, after running towards a police station, she decided to record the incident but was accosted by a police officer who asked why she was recording and ordered her to stop.

Refusing his orders, the said officer pulled out a gun on her while another joined in and both forcefully dragged herself and another lady to the police station nearby.

Read Also: Maina’s Case: Court Grants Ndume Bail

On getting there, several officers including women started beating and punching them. According to her, the beating was so much that she lost control and urinated on herself.

“While the beating was going on, I lost control of my body and my phone fell on the ground and one of them used his leg to smash it because he believed I was recording with it and I was going to pot it on the internet.

“While we were still at that gate, some were coming out, they joined the beating. Dragged me inside, that was where I lost control of my body, I peed on myself. I managed to get a hold of the phone because I knew that was the only thing I had,” Okpara said, fighting back tears.


Watch the full video of her testimony below.

NPA Has Remitted All Funds Since 2016 – Bala-Usman

 

The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, has clarified claims in the Auditor General’s reports that the NPA is withholding remittances meant for the Federation Accounts

Bala-Usman who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Friday said the NPA has remitted all funds dating as far back as 2016.

“We have insisted that all competition around remittances are prioritized. I started in 2016 July and from then henceforth, I have ensured that we have made payment as and when due, so that we don’t have any carryovers and indeed, some of the non-payments arising from those years, we have had to make payments to them and one of the concerns with the issue of audited statements is that you need to audit your statements and with that, you will be able to determine actual amounts,” she said.

Read Also: ‘Policemen Beat Me Till I Peed On Myself’: Woman Tells Lagos Panel

“But even before your statements are audited, you need to now make those payments. That way, after the audit, we’ll know if there is a balance or not and when I joined we had inherited unaudited statements for 13, 14, 15 financial statements.

“We had to work hard to meet up with and audit the backlog to enable us to meet up. Thank God now we have been able to meet up, our audited statements are up to date and we are making the necessary remittance.”

Meanwhile, she also condemned the attack on the corporate headquarters of the NPA and the Tincan Island Port Office, in Lagos by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.

According to her, the incident has slowed down activities at the ports which had already been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Lagos Panel Of Inquiry Commences Further Hearing From LCC, Others

 

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government for victims police brutality and extrajudicial violence has commenced another sitting.

There are three hearings on the panel’s list for today, one of them being a further hearing of the Lekki Concession Company’s side of the events of the Lekki Tollgate.

Managing-Director of the LCC, Yomi Omomuwasan is being interrogated by the lawyer to the #EndSARS protesters, Adeshina Ogunlana.

Counsel to the #EndSARS protesters Adeshina Ogunlana, had asked him to confirm who manned the camera on October 20 when the military shot at peaceful protesters.

This line of questioning did not go down well the Lagos State Government counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko who asked that questioning be restricted to the relevant hours of the footage. But the #EndSARS lawyer also objects.

More to follow..

Maina’s Case: Court Grants Ndume Bail

 

A Federal High Court has granted bail to the senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume.

Senator Ndume has been in detention since Monday over his suretyship for former Pension Reforms Task Team Chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina, who had jumped bail.

But Justice Okon Abang who granted the bail on Friday said the decision was based on the senator’s record of good behavior in court.

The bail was granted to the senator pending the hearing and determination of his appeal filed at the Court of Appeal challenging his remand.

He ordered the senator to produce one surety who must be a resident of Abuja and present evidence of ownership of property anywhere in Abuja.

According to the judge, the surety must also depose to an Affidavit of Means to indicate his readiness to forfeit the bail guaranty should the senator also jump bail.

Ndume had been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre for failing to produce the former Pension Task Team boss.

He had stood as surety for Maina, who is standing trial on alleged money laundering charges.

Read Also: [Oil Spill] Supreme Court Rejects Shell’s Request To Vacate ₦17bn Judgement

However, Maina has repeatedly failed to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.

Consequently, in a bench ruling delivered by Justice Abang on November 3, the court ordered his remand pending the fulfillment of his bail bond, which is a forfeiture of N500 million to the Federal Government.

The court had also empowered the Federal Government to sell Senator Ndume’s property at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million bond.

Justice Abang added that Ndume will be released from Kuje once he is able to pay the N500 million or if the prosecutor is able to dispose of the property and payment is made to the Federal Government.

Oil Spill: Supreme Court Rejects Shell’s Request To Vacate ₦17bn Judgement

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited seeking to set aside a January 11, 2019 judgement of the court upholding damages to the tune of N17bilion awarded against the oil company.

The apex court had on January 11, 2019 upheld an earlier judgment by the Court of Appeal, affirming a June 14, 2010 judgement of the Federal High Court which awarded the damages against Shell over an oil spill at Ejam-Ebulu in Tai Eleme Local Government Area of River State in 1970.

Read Also: Gowon Dismisses Allegation Of Looting CBN, Asks UK Lawmaker To Check His Record

Dismissing the application on Friday, Justice Samuel Osuji who read the lead ruling of the Supreme Court’s panel prepared by Justice Centus Nweze, held that the application by Shell, asking it to revisit its earlier judgment, was unmeritorious.

Although the lawyer to Shell declined speaking to Journalists, lawyer to Ejam-Ebulu community, Mr Lucius Nwosu while applauding the verdict of the court said the judgment sum, with interest, now stands in the region of N160billion.

Burna Boy Stands ‘Twice As Tall’ With Another Grammy Nomination

 

After being nominated and losing to Angelique Kidjo for the 2020 edition of the Grammy, Nigerian singer and songwriter, Burna Boy, has made another comeback in the 2021 instalment of the awards.

The singer was nominated in the Best Global Music Album category for his latest body of work, ‘Twice As Tall’.

He was nominated alongside American, Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas; a group of Tuareg musicians, Tinariwen; British-Indian composer, Anoushka Shankar and Brazilian-American singer, Bebel Gilberto.

If the self-acclaimed African Giant wins, it will be the second time a Nigerian would be returning home with the Grammy plaque.

Sikiru Adepoju is the only Nigerian to have won a Grammy. He won it in 2009 with the “Global Drum Project” a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

The news already has fans very optimistic that he will come home with the prize this time.

See some of the reactions below.

 

Grammy 2021: Beyonce Leads With Nine Nominations

In this file photo taken on July 9, 2019, US singer/songwriter Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood.

 

Pop queen Beyonce’s “Black Is King” musical film propelled her to the front of this year’s Grammy pack with nine nominations, organizers said Tuesday ahead of the annual awards show.

Fellow pop stars Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift each snagged six nominations for second place, as did rapper Roddy Ricch.

As the music industry attempts to weather one of its most tumultuous years in modern history due to the coronavirus pandemic, pop made a comeback in the Recording Academy’s top categories.

Women scored big gains across all genres ahead of the 63rd annual Grammys, set to take place on January 31, with comedian Trevor Noah as host.

One Shot, Police Station Burnt In Face-Off Between Prison Officials And Motorcycle Riders In Ibadan

 

Violence erupted at the Agodi Gate area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Tuesday when prison officials allegedly shot a motorcyclist.

According to eyewitness reports, the okada rider had an argument with prison officials who wanted the access route to the prison cleared but the situation degenerated into violence leading to a crisis in the area.

Thereafter, the police station at Gate was burnt allegedly by some angry motorcyclists.

Read Also: #EndSARS: Petitioner Dies One Week Before Lagos Panel Hears His Case

The okada rider who sustained a gunshot wound is, however, alive and receiving treatment, while security operatives led by the Joint security task force Operation Burst have taken over to restore normalcy in the area.

Meanwhile, contrary to some reports that the face-off was between the police and motorcycle riders, the police spokesman Gbenga Fadeyi said no policeman fired any shot at the scene.

Alleged Certificate Forgery: APC Asks Court To Stop PDP’s Gbadamosi From Participating In Election

Babatunde Gbadamosi (File Photo)

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to disqualify the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, from participating in the December 5 senatorial bye-election in Lagos East.

The APC alleged that Gbadamosi committed perjury and falsification of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificates in the documents he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It claimed that the PDP candidate made false declarations on oath regarding his work experience and did not participate in the one-year mandatory National Youth Service (NYSC programme), among other infractions.

Counsel to Lagos APC, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) who filed the suit listed the PDP candidate, Gbadamosi and INEC as defendants.

In its statement of claim, the APC declared that it studied the June 1985 WAEC certificate Gbadamosi had submitted to the INEC in comparison with his certificate obtained from the official WAEC website and discovered certain discrepancies in the certificates, which were indicative that the WAEC certificate that Gbadamosi submitted to the INEC might have been falsified.

“Also, the grades he claims to have received via the certificate is different from that contained on the official website of WAEC.”

The party, therefore, asked the court for six reliefs, including a declaration that Gbadamosi’s June 1985 WAEC Certificate with No: NGSG 228391 presented to INEC “in support of his qualification to contest election to the office of the Governor of Lagos State in the 2019 election containing results and subjects materially different from that contained on the official website of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), is a forged Certificate.

It also said that by virtue of Section 66 (1) (i) of the Constitution Gbadamosi, “having submitted a forged WAEC Certificate to INEC, containing results and subjects materially different from that contained on the official website of WAEC, to contest the forthcoming 2020 Lagos East Senatorial District bye-elections, is not qualified for election into the Senate.”

The party also sought an order disqualifying Gbadamosi from contesting in the Senate race on the ground of alleged submission of a forged result to INEC and an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC “from according any form of recognition” to Gbadamosi as a candidate nominated by any registered Political Party to contest for election to the Senate.

No date has been fixed yet for the hearing of the suit and Mr Gbadamosi is yet to file a response to the APC’s statement of claim.

Economic Recession: CBN Retains Key Lending Rates

 

The Monetary Policy Committee has retained key lending rates at 11.5%.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, announced this on Tuesday, saying it is part of efforts to boost the economy towards a sustainable recovery from the recession.

“Members voted in line with the most pressing need towards reversing the recession and achieving medium-term macro-economic stability.

“In view of the fore-going, the committee decided by a unanimous vote to retain all parameters,” Emefiele said.

“In summary, MPC voted 1, to retain MPR at 11.5%, (2), retain asymmetric corridor of +100 and -700 basis points around the MPR, (3) retain Cash Reserve Ratio at 27.5% and (4), retain liquidity ratio at 30%.”

This comes days after a new report released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, showed that Nigeria had slipped into another recession after the economy shrank in the third quarter of this year.

Read Also: Again, Nigeria’s Economy Slips Into Recession

The same happened in 2016, making it the second recession in a space of four years.

The cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48 per cent just as it recorded a -6.10 per cent in the second quarter.

According to Emefiele, the recession was anticipated and measures had been put in place to manage its impact.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, said the country will exit recession by the first quarter of 2021.

#EndSARS: Four Petitioners To Give Testimony Before Lagos Judicial Panel Of Inquiry

The Judicial Panel in session (file)

 

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate cases of police brutality and extrajudicial killings has commenced its 12th sitting.

At today’s hearing, four petitioners are expected to give their testimonies including a further hearing by Mr. Okoliagu Abunike who had alleged that he lost two of his teeth in an encounter with officers of the now-defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

Others include a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, Mr Basil Chetal Ejiagwa, and Francis Idum.

The session started with the cross-examination of Mr Abunike by the counsel to the police, Emmanuel Eze.

On October 27, Abunike, a father of five, told the panel that in 2012, The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) operatives detained and tortured him for 47 days at their Ikeja office, without trial.

Read Also: SARS Detained Me For 47 Days, Extracted My Teeth – Victim Tells Lagos Judicial Panel

According to him, he had been invited to a police station in the Ojo area of the state for some clarification over the disappearance of some goods at his former place of work.

Upon honouring the invitation, he said he was immediately arrested and was handed over to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ikeja.

“I was like what is going on? And they said there was a complaint against me from my boss that something happened, and goods got missing.

“I said well, my boss has to come here so that we can iron out whatever issues because something like that has happened before and they called me to go back and resume (work), that it was a mistake on their system. After we waited for the whole day, nothing happened. The next day, they brought me back to Ojo from Ikeja, with so much threats.

“My boss did not even show up, then they started beating me, calling me a thief, fraudster and all that. They paraded me around the whole Alaba International Market, they asked me to stand straight in their vehicle, showing my face; they even took me to my church,” the petitioner said while narrating his ordeal in the hands of the security operatives.

Arewa Consultative Forum Asks Buhari To Address High Rate Of Insecurity In North

 

The Pan Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed displeasure over the spate of insecurity especially in the northern region of the country.

In a communique signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe on Tuesday, the forum called on President Muhammadu Buhari to live up to his oath of office by addressing the security challenges that are gradually crippling socio-economic activities in the north before it gets too late.

After its National Executive Council meeting held in Kaduna, the ACF said the call is simply to convey the anger and frustrations of many Northerners who voted President Buhari into power and for him to tackle the worsening insecurity in the north, which they note is getting too late.

The northern group noted with displeasure that the rising cases of kidnapping, banditry and many other security breaches in the region have become a source of worry to those who voted for a government that they thought will secure their lives and property as spelt out in the 1999 Constitution.

The forum also faulted the Minister of Police Affairs for saying that the activities of bandits have been degraded in the north, stating that there have been serial killings of more people in the north by bandits contrary to the minister’s statement.

“There have been serial killings of more people in the north by the bandits whom the Minister of Police claimed falsely have been defeated. Even as the Minister was claiming falsely, whether in ignorance or deliberate, victory over bandits, 12 Police Superintendents on official duty from Zamfara to Kano were overpowered by superior tactics and force while driving in a convoy and abducted with a heavy ransom demand on each policeman’s family,” Yawe said.

“Apart from that the bandits mounted four roadblocks on Kaduna Abuja road whom the police have claimed severally that they have liberated from bandits.

“News reports by the media speak of many dead and several others taken away by bandits for ransom. Nine students of French at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria on Tuesday educational tour were taken away and a whooping ransom of N270 million placed on their head.

“Three escaped with gunshot wounds. The police are now claiming they have been rescued. Given the level of distrust in our security on security forces, we are cannot vouch for what happened.”

The ACF also condemned the abduction of the nine ABU students.