Lekki Shooting: #EndSars Coordinator Submits Flash Drives As Evidence To Lagos Panel

 

One of the coordinators of the #EndSARS protest, Serah Ibrahim, says she witnessed how soldiers and later policemen shot innocent protesters at the Lekki toll gate.

She made the statement on Saturday in her testimony at the resumed sitting of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS and other related matters.

At a previous sitting, the witness told the panel that she was at the protest ground in Lekki every day, coordinating some of the activities and she was an eyewitness to the shooting on the night of October 20, 2020.

The panel is racing against time after it got a three-month extension to complete the hearing and give decisions in the 235 petitions it received from the public.

To make up for some of the time lost to the Easter holidays, the panel listed 17 cases for hearing on Saturday as opposed to about 10 to 12 it usually hears at a sitting.

Channels Television gathered that of the 235 petitions received by the panel, there were 14 cases related to the Lekki shooting.

 

Live Bullet Shot?

Led in evidence by her counsel and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Yinka Olumide-Fusika, Serah, who described herself as a freelance auditor continued her testimony of the events of the night on Saturday.

She tendered in evidence two flash drives containing photos and videos that suggested that the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) had more visuals in its custody capable of revealing what exactly transpired on the night of the incident.

The witness presented two flash drives containing photos and videos that suggested that the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) had more visuals in its custody.

 

The evidence, according to her, suggested that the LCC had more cameras on the ground on the night of the incident to show what really happened during the Lekki shooting.

The witness told the panel that over five different cameras were on the ground, but most of them have now been removed.

She went on to give a very lengthy narration of how soldiers shot at protesters, as well as the activities of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and some operatives of the Maroko Police Station who she claimed also shot at protesters.

“This was the live one (bullet) that was cocked in front of me; I picked it myself,” Serah said.

The witness holds a live bullet as evidence while giving her testimony before the panel.

 

She also alleged that a hospital refused to release information about some of the protesters receiving treatment after the shooting at the Lekki toll gate.

After giving her testimony, the panel admitted in evidence some bullets which the witness said she picked from the floor during the shooting.

It also granted the request of Serah’s lawyer to summon the Director of Hospital Administration and HR of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Mr K. F. Gbajumo, who allegedly issued a memo prohibiting his staff from giving out information on the victims.

On the next adjourned date, the witness is expected to play more of the videos she gathered on the night of the incident to further prove her narration of the events of the shooting at the protest venue.

No #EndSARS Protest At Lekki Tollgate, Police Insist

This photo taken on December 7, 2020, shows the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos State.

 

Police authorities in Lagos State have said no #EndSARS protest held at the Lekki tollgate after a viral video surfaced on social media.

A Channels Television correspondent who was present at the toll gate on Monday also did not witness any protest.

The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, noted in a statement that the content of the video was fake, false, and misleading.

He stated that the video was being circulated by mischief makers to create tension and destabilise the security network within the state.

According to Adejobi, the footage was one of the viral videos previously released during the recent #EndSARS protests before the Lekki tollgate plaza was set ablaze by hoodlums.

While urging the general public to disregard the video in its entirety, he called for calm and asked residents to go about their lawful businesses.

Adejobi gave an assurance that the police were prepared to deal decisively, within the ambit of the law, with any act of lawlessness that could lead to the breakdown of law and order in Lagos.

 

Amid calls by supporters for new protests over the government’s failure to fully address the issues raised, the police deployed personnel at the tollgate to prevent any form of protests.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also warned that any act of hooliganism hiding behind lawful and peaceful protests would be dealt with decisively to ensure peace and stability in the country.

The toll gate is significant for being one of the major gathering points for young Nigerians during the #EndSARS protests in October, which was later hijacked by hoodlums and resulted in massive destruction of lives and properties in some states, with Lagos being the worst-hit.

On the evening of October 20, the Nigerian Army opened fire at the tollgate in an attempt to disperse peaceful youths who were protesting police brutality.

The shootings have attracted widespread condemnation from rights groups and international figures, including the United Nations.

At various times, the Nigerian government and the army have denied wrongdoing while a Lagos State judicial panel is reviewing the facts of the shooting.

#EndSARS Protest: Police Deploy Officers To Strategic Locations In Ogun State

Security agents in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital on Monday, December 7, 2020.

 

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other security operatives in Ogun State have deployed their officers to strategic locations to forestall any form of demonstration including the #EndSARS protest in the state.

The police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who spoke with Channels Television stressed that the command will not tolerate any form of protest in the state as the country is just coming out of the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.

READ ALSO: Govt. To Deal Decisively With ‘Any Act Of Hooliganism’ In Protests – Buhari

“We have warned Ogun State residents to call their children to order. We will not tolerate any form of protest for now because we are just coming out of the bad effect of the protest that recently held across the country.

“We got the information that some misguided elements are trying to foment trouble once again. I can’t call it a protest. They call it #EndSARS phase two.

“You cannot build something on nothing. You cannot stage a protest against an outfit that is no longer in existence. SARS has been disbanded and there is no reason for anybody to be canvassing for a protest against an outfit that is no longer in existence,” Oyeyemi said.

#EndSARS protesters had earlier in October 2020 took to the streets across the country to protest police brutality and high-handedness of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)

In response to the protests, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu announced the dissolution of SARS unit and their replacement with Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT).

#EndSARS Protest: Court Orders Probe Of Sam Adeyemi, Davido, Aisha Yesufu, Others

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

‌A Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja has ordered the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to investigate 50 people who allegedly promoted the #EndSARS movement.

Magistrate Omolola Akindele gave the order in a letter to the police commissioner following a criminal complaint filed by an activist, Mr Kenechukwu Okeke.

Okeke had alleged that during the riot, his properties were destroyed and the defendants who promoted the #EndSARS protests must be brought to justice.

In the letter, Magistrate Akindele gave the police two weeks to investigate the matter and report back to the court for proper adjudication.

Those listed as defendants include the Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi; musicians Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy, David Adeleke also known as Davido, Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz, as well as social media comedians, Debo Adebayo otherwise known as Mr Macaroni, and Maryam Apaokagi popularly called Taaooma.

Other musicians sued include Peter and Paul Okoye, Innocent Idibia (Tuface), Bankole Wellington (Banky W), Tiwa Savage, Michael Ajereh (Don Jazzy), Ayo Balogun (Wizkid), and Yemi Alade.

Besides the musicians, other defendants include activist Aisha Yesufu; former Super Eagles Captain, Kanu Nwankwo; a former Director-General of the Bureau for Public Sector Reform, Dr Joe Abah; journalist, Kiki Mordi, as well as actors Yul Edochie and Uche Jombo.

Social media influencers such as Feyikemi Abudu, Olorunrinu Oduala, Pamilerin Adegoke, Japhet Omojuwa, Ayo Sogunro, and Deji Adeyanju were also joined in the suit, as well as activist, Tope Akinyode.

#ENDSARS: Cross River Judicial Panel Of Inquiry Holds Inaugural Sitting, Receives 39 Petitions

 

The Cross River State Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other related offences on Wednesday held its inaugural sitting and 39 petitions were received.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Michael Edem, at the sitting, urged the witnesses and victims to present clear evidence devoid of falsehood in order to have a true reflection of the various incidences that had occurred over the years.

He assured that the panel will display a high level of transparency in the implementation of all recommendations for justice to be served to the victims through the confinement of the nation’s law.

READ ALSO: Teacher Arrested For Kidnapping Former Pupil In Ogun

The panel was inaugurated in October by the State Governor, Ben Ayade to look into the cases of police brutality and high handedness of SARS operatives which gave rise to the #ENDSARS protest across the country.

With 39 petitions received so far, the panel will reconstitute in the coming days to accommodate members of the Nigerian Police Force who are defendants.

Lawyers on the panel, however, noted that there is a need for some observation raised to be tackled to ensure that the sitting will not be in futility.

‘I Don’t See Anything Wrong With It’: Akeredolu Backs Freezing Of EndSARS Protesters Accounts

A file photo combination of #EndSARS protesters and a court gavel.

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has defended the freezing of bank accounts belonging to #EndSARS promoters and believes the action is not a conclusion the accounts were used to sponsor acts of treason.

“Speaking very honestly, I don’t see anything wrong in it,” the governor who doubles as the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum said on Wednesday in the latest edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“If for instance, my account was frozen, what would I do? All I would do is go back to court to explain. Even politicians, their accounts are sometimes frozen. You have to go to court and explain. And at the end of the day, the court will say, ‘Leave the account. The account should be de-frozen’ and you take your money back.”

READ ALSO: Activist Sues Sam Adeyemi, Burna Boy, 48 Others Over Role In #EndSARS Protests

Although some social commentators and members of the public have described the action of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as an abuse of power, the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said the protesters must explain the flow of funds into their accounts.

A file photo of #ENDSARS protesters.

 

“If your account is frozen, you justify why the money was there. You come to explain to what use you have put this money,” Akeredolu, who in October defeated Eyitayo Jegede to win a second term in office, explained.

“If it is that ‘Okay, we used this money to pay this caterer to give food to these boys when they were there. We spent money before the hoodlums took over,’ it will be explained, people will know and the accounts will be de-frozen.”

Akeredolu equally downplayed insinuations that the protesters are being charged for a treasonable offence.

“It is just that we (CBN) suspected this account then the owner of the account will explain,” he said, noting stressing that it “is not a conclusion that those accounts were used for acts of treason.”

CBN Secures Order

A federal high court in Abuja on Friday last week granted the request of the CBN to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests.

The request, granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was filed by the CBN on October 20.

Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.

READ ALSO: ‘Who Sent This Guy?’: Sam Adeyemi, Others Respond To Lawsuit Against #EndSARS Protesters

Others are Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif. Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.

#EndSARS protesters during a candlelight procession in honour of victims of police brutality.

 

The court order addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank, directed the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants/respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Gatefield Nigeria Limited had earlier sued Access Bank Plc for allegedly blocking an account used to promote media coverage of the #EndSARS protests.

 

#EndSARS Protest: Eromosele Adene Has Liver Problem, He Needs To Be Released – Sister

A lady, Onomene Adene, has called for the release of her brother, Eromosele, from police custody.

Twenty-seven-year-old Eromosele was arrested on Saturday last week by a team of policemen in Lagos for participating in the #EndSARS protest which held recently in parts of the country, his family said.

Following his arrest and subsequent transfer to Abuja, Eromosele’s sister is asking police authorities to release her brother who she says has a liver infection.

“He (Eromosele) not being in a place he is used to is not good for him because we fear that anything can happen to him; I am not saying harassment, I am talking about his health.

“So, he needs to be released,” said Onomene who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

She added, “During his Belle Full Naija last year, he went to about six states just to share alms. When he came back, he had some issues with his liver – may be the change of environment or the situation of the places he found himself because of his love for this country.”

A photo combination of a handcuff and Eromosele Adene, a Lagos-based #EndSARS protester who was arrested on November 7, 2020.

 

Onomene faulted the reports tagging her brother as one of the conveners of the #EndSARS protest, stressing that he was just like every other normal demonstration.

She described him as a normal Nigerian youth with no particular or special role played in the #EndSARS protest.

According to Eromosele’s sister, the police deceived her and used her as bait to get her brother arrested for exercising his fundamental human rights.

She decried that the policemen who arrested him came under the guise of transacting a business with her brother, adding that he defaulted in the agreement.

Onomene stated that her brother has nothing to do with the sale of commodities as claimed by the police, saying “he is a musician, he is a philanthropist, he is the owner of Belle Full Naija on Instagram.”

Imo Governor Receives IGP, Vows To Rebuild All Destroyed Police Stations

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma receives Inspector General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

 

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma has promised to rebuild and rehabilitate all police stations burnt in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest in the state.

Uzodinma made the promise on Thursday during the Security Summit held in Owerri, the state capital.

While condemning the carnage and destruction occasioned by hoodlums hiding under the #EndSARS protest, he said every Nigerian has the right to protest but when it protracts and graduates to disturbance of public peace and chaos is will not be allowed.

READ ALSO: I Nearly Shed Tears Seeing The Destruction Of Properties In Lagos – El-Rufai

The governor stressed the need for a secured state by the support of the police. He promised that his government will continue to support all security agencies in the state and will rebuild all police station burnt and destroyed in the violence.

The event was attended by the Inspector General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who is in the state to assess the level of damage to police formations and other properties.

The IGP visited major places in Owerri and was accompanied by AIG Ibrahim Lamorde; AIG Zone 9 Baba Tijani; Imo State Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede; Former IGP Mike Okiro and Force Public Relations Officer Frank Mba.

The Police Boss also met traditional rulers and other stakeholders. He stressed the need to embrace community policing noting that this is the best strategy to combat crime in the country.

The IGP in his address called on the traditional rulers and stakeholders to partner with the police force and assured that in a few weeks’ time, youths will be recruited into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

We Are Trying To Avoid Second Wave Of #EndSARS Protest – Chairman Northern Govs Forum

Group photo of the Northern leaders during the meeting which was held on Monday in Kaduna State.

 

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum says hands are on deck to engage Nigerian youths and avoid a second wave of #EndSARS Protest.

Simon Lalong who is also the state governor of Plateau disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television on Monday. He said the plan to avoid the reoccurrence of #EndSARS protest was agreed upon after a meeting by northern leaders including state governors, traditional leaders, and northern political leaders.

“We came out of the meeting with very useful suggestions and a communique.

“In that meeting, we all agreed to go back and continue engagement particularly addressing issues from #EndSARS because we are also trying to avoid the second wave of #EndSARS.

“We want to address some of those issues that are on ground, to prevail on people not to engage in destructions. Because the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums which led to several destructions,” he said.

Lalong speaking further on deliberations from the meeting said although #EndSARS protests is not wrong, but was hijacked by demonstrators targeting regime change.

“Nobody is saying that initially, the protest was wrong. But the fact that it was hijacked by hoodlums to destroy public and private properties was a matter of great concern.

“What we are trying to do is to get back to the drawing board and close the communication gap between the leaders and the led. So that there will be no  #EndSARS again.

“So, what we intend to do is to provide opportunities by engaging the youths so that they will be taken off the streets,” Lalong said.

Nigerian, especially youths calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force began protests on October 8. The protests were held in major cities and lasted for two weeks.

Northern leaders after their meeting on Monday condemned the protests describing it as an agenda for regime change.

The governors also called for control of social media.

#EndSARS Protests: Governors Well Within Their Rights To Set Up Panels Of Enquiry, Says NBA President

NBA president Olumide Akpata. Photo: [email protected] Akpata

 

Governors who have set up panels of enquiry into the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have the right to do so, President of the Nigerian Bar Association Olumide Akpata has said.

Mr Akpata spoke about the panels when he appeared on the latest edition of Sunday Politics.

“I think the governors are well within their rights or the power of the law to set up those panels of enquiry for the purpose of determining whether or not the now-disbanded SARS went beyond their remit; whether or not the claims that we have from various Nigerians as to how they were mistreated or illegally treated by SARS are correct,” he said in response to questions around the legality of the panels.

Governors in many states had set up panels after the #EndSARS protests, which held across the nation and led to the disbandment of SARS and pushed for police reforms.

The NBA President explained that he had not heard any argument against the legality of the panels. Such an argument would be in contradiction to the position of the NBA in any case.

“We are of the view that those panels are well-constituted, and, in some states, members of the Nigerians Bar Association have been invited to be on those panels,” he said.

According to him, in other states where the NBA is not involved, the association’s preferred approach will be to observe proceedings at those panels and ensure that the laws of the land are upheld.

—Binding Decisions?—

As the panels begin their sittings, some have asked about the nature of powers they have; whether their decisions would be binding and if they have the power to punish anyone.

Mr Akpata explained their role. Establish the fact and make recommendations.

“In my understanding of these panels, the way they have been constituted is to say ‘Yes, this happened’ or ‘No, that did not happen’ and recommend to the authorities what they think should be done with regard to those persons who are found to have broken the law or breached any provision of the law,” he said.

“I don’t think anybody has suggested for a second that these particular panels have the power to punish an individual or to jail anybody. That is not my understanding of these panels or what their remit covers.”

He explained that the panels’ recommendations would go to constituted authorities such as the state governments or the Federal Government.

“Those recommendations will go to them regarding what they think should be done or what actions they think should be carried out by the authorities,” he said.

I Am Shocked By The Level Of Destruction, Minister Laments After Inspecting Destroyed Properties In Calabar

Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jeddy Agba inspects properties vandalised and destroyed by hoodlums in the state.

 

The Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jeddy Agba, has visited his home state Calabar, the Cross River State capital on inspection of public properties that were destroyed in the aftermath of the  #EndSARS protest.

The Minister during the visit on Tuesday expressed shock and likened the scenes of attack to war scenes.

“It’s just like we are coming out of a war. I am shocked beyond expression, with the level of destruction  I have seen I cannot find words to express how I feel after looking at the Carnage carried out.

“These are our youths, the property is also our property, we cannot remain like, we must rebuild and come back stronger. We are sorry about the pains of the youths, we know they reacted, and we heard their reaction loud and clear and we will respond appropriately,” Jeddy Agba said.

He called for calm from the youths and assured that the Federal Government is committed to solving youth-related problems.

The Minister announced that 1,000 youths will be employed in each Local Government Area.

He assured that other measures will be put in place by the Federal Government for youth empowerment across the country.

The buildings and properties affected in the attacks include the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital where documents and properties were vandalised, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the West African Examination Council (WAEC) the Basin authority among others.

Our Substantial Records Are Intact, Lagos Chief Judge Reacts To Attack On Nigeria’s Oldest Court

Igbosere High Court after the attack by hoodlums.

 

Igbosere High Court is a monument with its existence dating back to when Lagos was known as a British protectorate.

The building came under attack by some hoodlums on October 22. The buildings in the court premises and properties in it were destroyed and completely vandalized.

The hoodlums spent hours burning vehicles, vital documents, case files and looted properties including furniture, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

Chief Judge of Lagos State, Kazeem Alogba in an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday, October 27 said substantial records of the court were not affected as wrongly believed by many.

He said the archives remain intact.

“Fortunately, it is not all our records that are lost. In some of the key areas, we still have a substantial part of our records intact. Like our archives and the probate registry, to a reasonable extent, some of our records are still intact.

“We are working day and night to ensure that we find alternative accommodation for our judges and magistrates and they will soon start sitting,” he said.

While the impact of the damage done on the High Court is still been accessed, the Chief Judge said reconstructing the building will cost over a billion naira.

Court officials sorting the remaining documents.

 

He said, “in terms of equipment and other items vandalized. It is also almost one billion. We have several vehicles there. All our computers, the air conditioners, the refrigerators and all sorts of electrical gadgets. Even the furniture.”

The court is however planning a comeback soonest.

“We are going to reconstruct our case files. We are not going to look back, we are looking forward. This is a temporary set-back.

“These are trying times and we must go through it, but we are going to come out of it brilliantly,” the Chief Judge promised.

 

– Judicial Monument Attacked –

Igbosere High Court was one of the structures left devastated by the activities of hoodlums last week in Lagos State.

The city was ravaged by hoodlums in the days after the #EndSARS protest, leaving many parts of the state with the burnt buildings, looted shops, and destroyed properties.

Igbosere High court which is the oldest in Nigeria was not spared as the courtrooms were burnt, vandalised, and left in ruins.

Igbosere High Court after the attack by hoodlums.