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#EndSARS: Lagos Govt, Judicial Panel Dragged To Court Over Probe Of Lekki Shooting

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The Lagos state government has been dragged before a federal high court to disband the the Judicial panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS  related abuses In Lagos State and Lekki toll gate incident

The Plaintiffs in the case, Adekunle Augustine and Semion Akogwu, prayed the court to disband the panel on the ground that the Lagos state governor, being a party in the matter, did not exercise his power in public interest by setting up the panel.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to make a declaration that the Lagos State Governor, being a party cannot set up a panel to investigate itself and the outcome of the panel will be in favour of the state.

The plaintiffs averred that he who pays the piper dictates the tune.

Apart from the judicial panel of inquiry, other defendants in the suit are, the Governor Of Lagos State, the Chairman of the panel and the Attorney-General of the state who are 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.

The Chairman of the panel is listed as the 2nd respondent in the case dated November 11,2020 and filed at a Lagos federal high court with suit number FHC/L/CS/1572/20.

The plaintiffs, Augustine and Akogwu, in the suit, filed through their counsel, Samuel Adama, Esq. seek the determination of the following questions:

*WHETHER having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 2nd Defendant being an Agent/Appointee of the 1st Defendant can ensure fair hearing for the Plaintiffs under the auspices of the 3rd Defendant in a mater in which the 1st Defendant is a party?

*WHETHER having regards to section 5(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant validly exercised his powers in public interest by setting up the 3rd Defendant to investigate a matter in which the 1st Defendant himself is a party?

*WHETHER having regards to Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant is a party to be investigated under the terms of reference for the 3rd Defendant in the discharge of its mandate?

*WHETHER the 4th Defendant being the Chief law officer of the State ought to act in public interest by advising the 1st Defendant against the setting up of the 3rd Defendant and ought to do all things legally possible to ensure fair hearing in the matter?

Upon the determination of the questions, the plaintiffs also prayed the court for the following reliefs:

*A DECLARATION that having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) together with Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 2nd Defendant being an Agent/Appointee of the 1st Defendant cannot ensure fair hearing for the Plaintiffs under the auspices of the 3rd Defendant in a matter in which the 1st Defendant is a party.

*A DECLARATION that having regards to section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Fepublic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) together with Exhibits A and Exhibit B, the 1st Defendant, being a party in the matter, did not exercise his power in public interest by setting up the 3rd Defendant.

*A DECLARATION that the appointment of the 2nd Defendant and the setting up of the 3rd Defendant by the 1st Defendant is tantamount to making the 1st Defendant a Judge in his own cause and ipso facto breaches the Plaintiffs rights to fair hearing.

*AN ORDER of this Honourable Court disbanding the 3rd Defendant and nullifying its proceedings and whatsoever actions taken thereby so far to give way for a credible and independent commission of inquiry to be set up by the Federal Government to take over the mandate of the 3rd Defendant as contemplated by its establishment abi nitio.

In the affidavit in support of the originating summon, the plaintiffs said,
”That on the 20th of October, 2020, the 1st Defendant caused the deployment of troops to Lekki Toll gate, Lagos State where a large number of youths were gathered in peaceful protest against police brutality; and the troops fired several artillery weapons at the scene leading to various degrees of bodily injuries and alleged death of several people.

”That the 1st Defendant admitted that he authorized the deployment of troops to Lekki Toll Gate on that 20th October, 2020 to stop the peaceful protest which by extension occasioned the use of artillery weapons by the soldiers at the scene, leading to some life threatening injuries, grievous hurt and alleged death of many of the protesters. A newspaper publications to the fact that the 1st Defendant admitted he authorized the deployment of troops to Lekki Toll Gate Lagos on that 20th October, 2020 is hereby annexed and marked Exhibit ‘A’.

”That the 1st Defendant thereafter set up of the 3rd Defendant consisting of 20 members with the 2nd Defendant as the Head, for the purpose of investigating the Lekki Toll Gate military invasion and other matters thereto and to make recommendations to the 1st Defendant on the findings. A newspaper publication on this fact is hereby annexed and marked Exhibit ‘B’

”That the 1st Defendant constituted the 3rd Defendant and appointed all the members thereof at his pleasure.

”That I am desirous of seeking justice in the matter but I strongly believe I will be prejudiced by the setting up of the 3rd Defendant, hence this suit.

”That since the 1st Defendant authorized the military invasion that led to the various degrees of bodily hurt and alleged death of many Nigerians who were at the scene at Lekki Toll Gate on the 20th October, 2020, he is a principal figure to be investigated and hence I will not have fair hearing on the platform of the 3rd Defendant which is a creation of the 1st Defendant that is equally on the threshold of investigation over the matter”.

See Court Paper

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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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