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*Centre’s preliminary report indicts Nigerian celebrities in #EndSARs murders, arson* 

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…hails conduct of Nigerian Army  throughout mayhem

Several Nigerian celebrities have been found culpable for the killings and arson that accompanied the EndSARS protests across the country. 

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET), in its preliminary report on the mass action revealed that these individuals triggered the corresponding violence, looting and near anarchy that followed by peddling fake news. 

Some of the celebrities include DJ Switch, Falz, Ifeoma McDermott, Genevive Nnaji, Deji Adeyanju, Aisha Yesufu. Peter/Paul Okoye, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, among others. 

CESJET made this revelation at a press conference on Monday in Abuja.

Unveiling the report, Executive Secretary, Comrade Isaac Ikpa said these “jaded” celebrities leveraged on the protests to chase clout and reinvent their brand. 

He also hailed the Nigerian Army for exhibiting its usual professionalism amidst conspiracy from these celebrities and their allies. 

The centre, however, urged the Nigerian government to petition these individuals at the International Criminal Court (ICC) starting with DJ Switch for so many avoidable death of innocent Nigerians and law enforcement personnel. 

On its part, CESJET vowed to submit petitions at the Lagos Investigative Panel s well as at the ICC.

Read the  full statement below:

It has become imperative that we brief you here today so that we can express our view on the state of the nation. For the entirety of October 2020 our dear country, Nigeria has been in the grip of a vicious enemy. 

The enemy we speak about is not the #EndSARS protests or the protesters, who are themselves, victims, even though they are led to erroneously believe they are in charge or that they call the shots in some sort of way. In reality, they have proven to possess lesser will than puppets and marionettes, the fall even below the level of pawns in the proper reckoning.  

The enemy is the fake news that has been deployed against Nigeria as a veritable weapon of mass destruction, which the original #EndSARS protesters, as a result of their naivety allowed to almost prevail. 

Amid the ongoing carnage in several cities of the country, we seem to have forgotten that although justified by long-running tradition brutality and human rights abuse by the Nigeria Police Force, the #EndSARS protests were triggered by a lie. A video circulated which was used as a basis to say that operatives of the defunct SARS summarily executed a young man and fled with his Toyota Venza car. It turned out that the young man did not die as a good Samaritan took him to the hospital for treatment; he was not shot as well but rather fell out of the car in a bid to get away from the brutal policemen. The point here is that there were people that were on the lookout for just that kind of incident as a trigger for what we are witnessing today. So, in practical terms, the #EndSARS protests are all based on a lie.

In the few days for which the protests were peaceful, there were a series of contents posted on social media and online, which later turned out to be false. These included lies that there was a harsh clampdown on protesters when in reality there was nothing of such.

Later on, the protesters began publishing the fake news that the Federal Government has sent thugs to infiltrate their ranks or to disrupt the protests. Although these were initially false, the fake news nonetheless became an invitation to thugs and hoodlums to join the protests thinking that government will pay them along the lines suggested by #EndSARS protesters.

The use of fake news by the #EndSARS protesters was matched only by their reckless and irresponsible acts of obstructing major routes too disrupt other Nigerians and make them uncomfortable. Fueled with pizza and takeaways provided with blood money they began taunting not just the government but also other Nigerians upon whom they have inflicted the maximum hardship. 

The irresponsible behaviour and the use of fake news got to the climax at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, as they attributed a pandemonium that broke out among them to shooting by military men. They trended pictures from movie productions and claimed those were victims from the shooting. Fake news. The shared gory pictures and videos that had no connection with Lekki and claimed they depicted people killed by soldiers. They claimed 78 protesters were killed yet almost about all of them miraculously resurrected by the time it was daybreak, including, actress, Eniola Badmus coming out refute reports of her demise.

From the independent accounts that have continued to emerge from the Lekki incident, it is apparent that the Nigerian Army is not complicit in what the protesters and their fake news promoters accuse them of. 

One DJ Switch happened to Livestream the entire shooting, but her phone battery managed to die out before she could properly finish counting the 78 bodies. What a coincidence? She later ranted about how she with other protesters were throwing corpses at the foot of the soldiers while also picking up expended bullet shells that have all disappeared the following day. Someone needs to check what has happened to DJ Switch’s medication. 

The Lekki Lies was made possible not just by DJ Switch alone but by the active collaboration of clout chasers and jaded celebrities who were eager to reinvent their brands. Nigerians must call them out because they share in the blame for the destructions that were carried out by people who thought there was a massacre. We appeal to Nigerians to reach these celebrities through their social media handles that they used to spread fake news about a phantom massacre of protesters. 

Let us know them so that we can exact a price from them. DJ Switch. Falz. Femi Falana. Ifeoma McDermott. Genevive Nnaji. Deji Adeyanju. Aisha Yesufu. Peter/Paul PSqaure. Mr Macaronni (Debo Adebayo). David. Burna Boy. Kanu Nwankwo (Papillo). Odion Ighalo. Beyonce. Rhianna.  Anthony Joshua. Aisha Sesay. Gideon Okeke. Chinedu Ikedezie (Pawpaw). Dakore Akande. Tiwa Savage. Fireboy. Whizzkid. Estelle. Rema. Uzo Aduba. IK Osakioduwa. EiE. Amnesty International.

We hope they are all happy for turning Nigerian cities into the burning pile. We hope they can still make it big in the cities whose economies they have destroyed and set back by decades. 

CESJET demands that the Nigerian state the International Criminal Court (ICC) hold these celebrities starting with DJ Switch responsible for so many avoidable death of innocent Nigerians and law enforcement personnel because of their fake news drove protests. CESJET shall consequently submit petitions against these individuals at the Lagos Investigative Panel while also petitioning them at the ICC. All these celebrities and clout chasers are guilty of war crimes and punishable under the ICC convention.

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists

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The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.

In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.

After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.

According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.

The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.

Read the full statement below:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.

A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

Our statement:

The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.

It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.

The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.

Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.

The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.

Conclusion:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.

The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.

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Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.

Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.

According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

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JUST IN: NLC, TUC Stage Walk Out From Meeting With FG

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Labour union representatives on Sunday staged a walk-out from a meeting with the federal government, barely five minutes after it started.

According to the president of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on the meeting’s top agenda were the issues surrounding the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs, not issues of palliatives.

In his opening remarks before the closed-door session, Olaleye accused the federal government of dishonesty, playing to the gallery and painting the organised labour in a bad light before civil servants and the public.

Representing the Nigerian Labour Congress was its deputy president, Najeem Yasin.

“This meeting is not going to be as usual,” Olaleye told news men. “Why, because we have seen the insincerity of government and it’s putting us at risk. They are taking us for a ride, which cannot continue.

“We are in the process of discussing, for over three months now. And they made announcement increasing the fuel price again. And no other person than NNPC. When has authority been giving to NNPC to increase the price of PMS? This is unacceptable.

“The meeting agenda is not well prioritised. And because of that, we are leaving the meeting. We will not continue, we will go back to our organ, and we are going to get back to you on the next line of action.”

In attendance from the federal government were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timiprye Sylva, Minister of state for power, Goddy Agba and the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.

“We felt that the item of increase in PMS, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody,” labour minister, Ngige said after the walkout.

More to come…

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