“The list below includes the name and registration number of vehicles to be auctioned today. These are vehicles of people who drove against Traffic (ONE WAY) In Lagos state,” Mr Akosile wrote on Twitter.
Footage presented by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) has shown that several trucks said to belong to the Nigerian Army, were indeed deployed to the Lekki Tollgate area of Lagos State on October 20.
In the video presented on Saturday to the judicial panel of inquiry and restitution set up to investigate incidents of police brutality and extrajudicial killings, a number of trucks were seen arriving at the Lekki Toll Gate at about 6.43 pm on that day.
But after about three hours of watching the footage, the counsel to the #EndSARS protesters, Adeshina Ogunlana, who was earlier given access to the video complained that the footage is not the one that should have been played.
He claimed that a particular recording was skipped, explaining that he was given tapes tagged t1 and t1 full.
The panel is investigating the Lekki Tollgate shooting and other issues regarding the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and is hoping to unravel the circumstances surrounding the controversial intervention by the Nigerian Army during the #EndSARS protest.
At the resumption, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd), said she was calling up the Lekki Toll company first so that the footage of the happenings around the Lekki Toll Gate would be watched by all parties including the Nigerian Army.
The Army had initially denied its role in the incident, describing such reports as fake news.
They, however, later came out to admit that officers had been deployed to the area on the orders of the state government after a curfew had been imposed to quell the violence that erupted amid the #EndSARS protest.
But the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has yet to make any definite statement about the who gave the orders.
Addressing the panel last Saturday, Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, reacted to the situation saying: “the Nigerian army was not happy about two things. The first is his (Governor Sanwo-Olu’s) denial that he asked us to intervene when in actual fact, it was the proper thing to do,”.
Speaking of the incident itself, Brigadier Taiwo insisted that only blank bullets containing gunpowder were fired on that day.
According to him, if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot.
But the testimony contradicts what was seen in live footage from the scene.
Disc Jockey, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch was one of those who filmed the incident live on Instagram.
In her live stream at the scene of the incident which immediately went viral at the time, many injured persons were seen, as some protesters tried to extract bullets from bleeding people after the men in military uniform had opened fire.
Some were also seen administering CPR to revive other injured victims.
It was also widely reported by some eyewitnesses that several had been killed and the security officers were clearing up the bodies – claims which the military immediately dismissed all as fake news.
A recent investigation from the Cable News Network, (CNN) also faults the claims of the military, raising more questions from Nigerians.
Calm has relatively returned to Agege Motor Road, specifically on Ikeja Along Bus Stop, after a clash between members of the Lagos State Task Force and commercial motorcycle operators was earlier reported.
The entire stretch of the Agege Motor Road is free of commercial motorcycle riders, as the Lagos Task Force team, led by its Chairman, Olayinka Egbeyeme is on the ground to avert further disorder in the area.
The attack on officers of the Lagos Task Force is a fallout of Tuesday’s clash between operatives of the Task Force and commercial motorcycle riders at Second Rainbow along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
Egbeyemi explained that his men were attacked in the early hours of today while on their beat along Agege Motor Road. He confirmed that some of the attackers have been arrested.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate cases of police brutality and the incident at the Lekki tollgate area of the state has resumed its sitting with the Nigerian Army continuing its testimony.
Commander 81 military intelligence brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, speaking before the panel on Saturday, claimed that the events that culminated in the incident of October 20 at the Lekki Toll Gate had its remote causes in the wider EndSARS protest and its immediate causes in the lawlessness that ensued from October 18. Brigadier Taiwo explained that the attack made the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to call on the army to interfere in the crisis and due to the urgency of the situation, the governor imposed a 24-hour curfew which was to commence at 4:00 pm on October 20 but was later shifted to 9:00 pm.
According to him, the time was not communicated to the Nigerian Army, and troops were deployed immediately upon receipt of the signal to activate phase 4, meaning immediate deployment of soldiers outside the barrack to help control the crisis of internal security.
He insists that the troops were not only deployed to the Lekki tollgate, but to other areas like Badagry, Ikorodu, Apapa, Alimosho, Epe, Lagos Island and the entire state to restore normalcy.
Brigadier Taiwo added that the army were shooting into the air at the Lekki tollgate and not at the protesters, backing his statement up with several video clips of what he says transpired that night.
Furthermore, he claimed that after the soldiers left the area, hoodlums went on to destroy the toll gate plaza.
He also insisted that the troops used blank bullets that contain gun powder, and cannot cause any damage to the flesh, and if real bullets were used one bullet would have killed three persons per shot.
Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, has said that the Nigerian Army is unhappy that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, denied inviting them to come and restore calm at the Lekki Tollgate area of the state in the heat of the #EndSARS protests.
Brigadier General Taiwo said this on Saturday while addressing members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the state government to investigate cases of police brutality.
“The Nigerian army was not happy about two things. The first is his (Governor Sanwo-Olu’s) denial that he asked us to intervene when in actual fact, it was the proper thing to do,” he said.
“He called the Chief of Army Staff and the GOC 81 division and asked for intervention because the police had been overrun”.
The Army Commander made the comments after presenting videos to the panel as part of evidence of the violence that had erupted across the state.
“I’m sure that after we have watched everything, we have seen that he had reasonable grounds to ask the army to intervene,” he added.
Who Really Gave Orders?
Brigadier Taiwo reiterated the army’s earlier position that officers were only deployed on the orders of the state government, particularly in relation to the events of October 20.
But on his part, the governor has yet to make any definite statements about who ordered the deployment or the shootings by the army.
At some point, he attributed the unfortunate incident to ”forces beyond his control” – a situation which has left many Nigerians puzzled over the facts of the matter.
Also in an interview with CNN, the governor said: “from the footage that we could see, because there were camera’s at that facility, it seemed to me that they will be men in military uniform which should be the Nigerian Army.”
When asked further if military forces ordered the shooting of the peaceful protesters, he said: “yes, they were there, that’s what the footage shows”.
Viral eyewitness videos from the scene of the shooting had shown several persons who sustained gunshot wounds, raising fears of multiple fatalities.
But contrary to what had been widely reported, the governor said only two persons are confirmed to have died from the incident so far.
“Two dead bodies. That is what we have seen from all the morgues, that is what we have going to hospitals, that is what we have seen as records.
“What has happened is, there have been so many footages that people have shown but we have not seen bodies.
“We’ve not seen relatives, we have not seen anybody truly coming up to say indeed I am a father or mother to someone and I cannot find that person.
“I have been to the ground and there’s no scratch of blood anywhere”.
The judicial panel which was set up nearly three weeks ago, is expected to look into the case, as well as other cases of police brutality with a view to ensuring justice for the victims.
In previous sittings, some survivors have come forward to share grisly details of their encounters in the hands of the rogue officials of the now-defunct unit at the heart of the protests – the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
One of the victims narrated how he had spent over a month in detention, and he was tortured to the point where he lost two of his teeth.
Another person said he had been thrown off a story-building and was now confined to a wheelchair after he broke his spine, while a woman alleged that she had lost pregnancies.
Governors of the South-West and traditional rulers are calling for special protection of economic assets in the region.
The Governors and traditional rulers made the call during a meeting held on Sunday in Lagos State.
“Before our very eyes, what started as a peaceful demonstration turned to different thing that became a threat to all of us, who are regarded as elite,” the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said in the meeting attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
“What we witnessed in the violence showed that something needs to be done to address the underlying issues and come out with solutions. We must be able to sustain the peace in our region at all cost.”
During the meeting meant to address the destructions that greeted the recent destructions in the country, particularly in Lagos, the Ondo Governor noted that the violence sparked by the EndSARS protest shook the Southwest to its foundation.
According to him, the dimension of violence especially in Lagos was worrying, admitting that the peace of the South-West was fragile in the aftermath of the violence.
President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by Professor Gambari, said the #EndSARS protests showed the frustrations of the youths who had been sidelined for a long time.
According to him, the political class must go beyond rhetorics and equip young people to make them competitive in the labour market.
“Our Government’s effort are emerging from multiple level. The Vice President and Governors are designing an engagement framework through the National Economic Council that will be rolled out across States of the Federation,” the chief of Staff to the President was quoted as saying in the meeting.
“Chief among them is police reform across all its dimensions. Community policing as an additional layer that can resolve some of our security issues.”
Other persons who attended the meeting included all serving members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from the region, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu and traditional rulers from the South-West.
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate police brutality and high-handedness by some officials of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has commended its fifth sitting.
The meeting which commenced at about 11:00 am Friday has in attendance the Managing Director of the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), counsel to the LCC, Rotimi Seriki Esq; counsel to the Lagos State Govt, A.J. Owonikoko (SAN) and counsel to the #EndSARS protesters, Adeshina Ademola Ogunlana, among others.
First on the list of cases to be called was the case of the Lekki shooting which occurred on October 20.
Mr Ogunlana made an appearance for the #EndSARS protesters. At first, his appearance was objected to, by the opposing counsel on the grounds that the #EndSARS protesters were not recognised by law.
After much argument, he presented three ladies as representatives of the protesters.
Justice Doris Okuwobi then ruled that Mr Ogunlana could represent the protesters as they have been represented by persons.
The panel, thereafter, proceeded to watch the footage from the day of the shooting. The footage started from 12:00 am on October 20.
More petitioners are also expected to be heard at the sitting today.
In previous sittings, petitioners have come up to share grisly details of their ordeal in the hands of some rogue SARS officers.
One man had shared details of how he was thrown off a story-building and eventually broke his spine. Another said he was arrested and tortured to the point of losing his teeth, while a woman allegedly lost two pregnancies, according to her account.
The panel is expected to look into such incidents among many other untold stories, with a view to ensuring justice for those involved.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has rued the recent destruction of properties in Lagos State, saying he almost cried after seeing photos of the damage.
“I have spent time to see some of the pictures of the destruction done on public properties in Lagos and I nearly shed tears,” the governor said on Thursday when he visited Sanwo-Olu to commiserate with him over the development.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, Gboyega Akosile, El-Rufai was quoted as saying that “Anyone who cares about development and progress will cry after seeing what has been done to public facilities and people’s investment that provided jobs to youths.”
—Reinvesting Scarce Resources —
While the Kaduna State Governor agreed that expressing anger over issues is the right thing for people to do, he faulted the destruction of public properties, describing the recent incidents in the south-western state as a setback.
“The Government of Lagos and the Federal Government will have to re-invest scarce resources that could have been used for other things to rebuild the vandalised facilities,” the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) added during the visit to Lagos State House in Marina.
He said his Lagos counterpart did all he could to prevent the protests against police brutality from taking a violent turn, saying the gravity of the destruction is “pure evil.”
El-Rufai accused those who “thrive in violence” of infiltrating “the protest to achieve their agenda of wreaking a large-scale destruction on public assets and infrastructure in Lagos.”
Those who damaged public infrastructure, he argued, engaged in an act of “self-destruction” and would feel the repercussion of their action, assuring that “We will do whatever support Lagos needs from us to get back better.”
According to the governor, calling for the disbandment of the entire police force because of the action of a few bad eggs was out of order.
For Sanwo-Olu, his government is seeking for partnership to help in rebuilding the state and restoring the lost assets and vowed to make the commercial centre uncomfortable for those who want to destroy the state’s economy.
Despite the violence that followed the #EndSARS protest, the Lagos State Governor assured that his government is committed to getting justice for those brutalised by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) team of the police.
He equally thanked his Kaduna counterpart for extending support towards rebuilding Lagos State, restating that his government would welcome all forms of help to restore all lost assets.
The Lagos State Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the state government to look into the allegations of brutality and highhandedness by personnel of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), has resumed its meeting for a fourth day.
Today’s sitting started at 11:00 am, with the testimony from Mr Ndukwe Ekekwe.
He said he was randomly arrested by SARS officers on February 16, 2018, without any valid reason, beaten up and then transferred to their office in Ikeja.
Beyond the beating, Ekekwe said he was stabbed at different parts of his body by the officers, and later taken to his shop at Alaba they broke his shop and started auctioning his products.
Thereafter, as he started shouting for help, he said the officers took him up a two-story building and threw him down – an incident which caused him to break his spine.
Although he survived the incident, Ekekwe is now confined to a wheelchair.
He told the panel that he would like to be compensated, as he also lost goods worth N15million.
Last week, another petitioner, Okoli Aguwu, also shared grisly details of his ordeal in the hands of SARS officers.
He said he spent about one and a half months in detention, and he was tortured to the point where he lost two of his teeth.
The panel is expected to bring justice to the victims of police brutality.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up to look into brutality and high handedness by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force has continued its sitting.
This is the second sitting since its inauguration on Tuesday.
Headed by Justice Doris Okwuobi (Rtd.), the panel is currently sitting at the Lagos Arbitration Centre in Lekki, with the youth representatives and other key stakeholders present.
Shortly after the sitting commenced, members of the panel visited the Lekki Tollgate, one of the major converging points for the #EndSARS protests.
It is also the location where security operatives believed to be men of the Nigerian Army, opened fire on unarmed protesters on October 20.
The panel is at the scene for inspection and to make more findings concerning the incident.
Led by Okuwobi, the panel is interrogating the tollgate officials about the condition of their security cameras and other equipment.
While taking the group round, the Managing Director of the Lekki Concession Company, Mr Yomi Omomuwansa, said most of their equipment were damaged by hoodlums who set it ablaze – an aftermath of the shooting.
Also with the panel to visit the scene of the incident is Rinu Odulala and Temitope Majekodunmi who are representing youths.
The member representing Surulere 1 Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot has apologized for his comments on youths and social media.
In a series of tweets on his handle, Thursday evening, the 46-year-old said, having gotten suggestions and feedback from people, he realised he made a mistake by referring to youths as “Children.”
“I did not mean to be insensitive with this, it was borne out of the magnitude of destruction and looting of businesses I witnessed when I went on a tour of my constituency,” the actor added.
“I saw women crying and my constituent members distraught as a result of the damages inflicted on their source of livelihood. I was moved by this while giving my submission on the floor of the House.
“I allowed my emotions to get the better of me and for this, I apologize to everyone my earlier statements may have hurt.”
While admitting that even the “best of us make mistakes,” he called for dialogue and engagement on the issues that “affect all of us” and promised to do the same.
“The pain that I feel for my constituents, the calls for assistance that I continue to get, and the need to mitigate against further destruction and violence will continue to drive my engagements and my work,” the lawmaker explained.
“I thank you all for expressing your views, and in the future, I promise to be more conscious and aware.”
See the series of tweets below:
1. I have read your honest feedback& suggestions& I sincerely apologize for addressing the youth as “Children”
I did not mean to be insensitive with this, it was borne out of the magnitude of destruction&looting of businesses I witnessed when I went on a tour of my constituency
2. I saw women crying and my constituent members distraught as a result of the damages inflicted on their source of livelihood. I was moved by this while giving my submission on the floor of the House.
5. The pain that I feel for my constituents, the calls for assistance that I continue to get, and the need to mitigate against further destruction and violence will continue to drive my engagements and my work.
The member representing Surulere Constituency 1 in the Lagos House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot, has debunked rumours that the lawmakers are working on a bill to regulate social media.
Earlier on Monday, Twitter was agog with tweeple claiming the Lagos Assembly is working on a bill to control the use of social media. The end product of the rumoured bill, some of them claimed, was to water down the shooting of #EndSARS protesters in Lekki.
But in a video on his Instagram page on the same day, the 46-year-old actor described the reports as “unfounded.”
“Please, I beg of you, I beg us. I beg everyone. This is not true, it is totally unfounded,” the actor who has featured in more than two hundred films, many television shows and soap operas, explained.
“Aren’t we going through a lot already? It is not true, period. No State House of Assembly, not one, has the jurisdiction to even deliberate or pass any bill like this; it is not possible.”
“The only thing I said towards social media was to the celebrities, social influencers and motivational speakers,” he stated. “I said, ‘listen, you have followers. Please, can we cut down on the hate narrative?’ Everyone is going through so much right now!”
On Tuesday last week, things, however, took another dimension when some armed men believed to be soldiers, opened fire on the demonstrators at the Toll Gate in Lekki, Lagos State.
Human rights organization, Amnesty International, put the death toll from the incident and another one in Ikeja, Lagos at 12. Witnesses claim many died from the shooting with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirming that twenty-eight people were wounded. He later said two deaths were recorded.
But the Nigerian Army said it was not responsible for the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate.
The incident triggered a looting spree and the burning of buildings, shopping malls and others by some irate persons.