Tag Archives: #EndSARS

Here are some of those working against corruption fight in Nigeria – Activist Eholor

Frontline civil rights defender and philanthropist, Chief Patrick Eholor has taken government officials and parastatals in President Mhammadu Buhari’s government to the cleaners.

Eholor believes there are many elements in the government that are too neck-deep in corruption that they would never let the fight against it succeed.

In this interview, he mentions names and explains why he does not see any ray of hope, with such elements serving in the government.

Excerpts.

Minister Chibuike Amaechi:

Chibuike Amaechi is one of the problems of this country. As a Minister, he has done nothing else but to follow the north sheepishly.

Do you remember when he was a governor? Amaechi started the worst elephant project ever in Nigeria, by jumping into monorail construction. He claimed he wanted to connect it across Port Harcourt, but after a few kilometers, the project was abandoned, permanently, and is today, a monumental waste in the city. That monorail project cost the Rivers State Government a whopping N33.9 billion. As a matter of fact, the technical partners handling the project then, Arcus Gibbs Nigeria Limited described the project as a hoax!

Amaechi is a white elephant project man. At the moment, he is very busy connecting roads, and two roads from Jigawa and Sokoto to Niger Republic. While the railways will gulp a whopping $1.96billion, the roads will consume N30 billion.

Sadly, the old rail roads that connected his homestead of Rivers and the rest of the country are abandoned, and there is no plan on ground to start the projects.

While at it, Amaechi is busy, warming up to become a president!

The Inspector General of Police

The Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Adamu is supposed to be the watchdog for good behavior among Nigerians, but the police force has continued to be an organization lacking in morals and ethics, and swimming in corruption.

Every year, the IG would announce that road blocks have been cleared on our roads, but that statement is always in theory. As a matter of fact, the road blocks usually increase in size of police officers, and they have ended up making the road blocks cash cows. There, senior officers compel the junior ones to make daily returns for them, and thereby exploit transporters. The IG is very much aware of this, but chooses to pretend he does not.

The same ritual is repeated every year, about police attaches to VIPs. The IGP would order the withdrawal of officers attached to VIPs across the country, but fail to do anything to implement the order. This way they have reduced respectable officers to bag carriers and mere drivers to rich men and their wives.

The police is paid over N300,000 per personnel by the VIPs, and only a little fraction of this money gets to the officers themselves. You can see why they refuse to withdraw them in truth. They are fantastically corrupt, and are making money from the VIPs!

State Governors, FG, Covid 19

The government has turned the fight against Covid 19 into a mere jaw exercise. First, NCDC and the FG started by bandying figures that didn’t really exist, and when they got funds to cater for citizens who were locked down in their homes, the funds were hoarded by governors and states, palliative measures were hijacked, and items meant to be shared were hidden away from the people, even perishables. It took the End SARS protests to expose this shameless act by our governments.

In Lagos, they are busy arresting poor people who cannot afford to defend themselves claiming that they are fighting Covid 19, yet they pretend they don’t know about the parties and feasts being hosted by their fellow moneybags.

It is at these parties that the London, and American, and other foreign returnees have been using to spread the disease, and this has led to the recent spike.

Despite the fact that he United Kingdom has cried out over the new dangerous strain of the disease, Nigeria has refused to close its borders from Europe and other such vulnerable countries. The result is that our people get exposed to Covid 19 infections.

All that the Federal Government and States are interested in is the Covid 19 funds. No one is genuinely interested in fighting the disease. Or ensuring that Nigerians are well cared for, medically and otherwise.

I can tell you that Nigeria is not yet serious about the fight against Covid 19. They are treating the pandemic with kid gloves, and it will be suicidal if this unseriouness and love for money overwhelms us and lands this country in a mess where it becomes impossible to deal with the pandemic.

Godswill Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio has no business being a minister, with the level of corruption cases against him. At first in 2015, a whopping N108 billion corruption case was brought against him by the EFCC.

A few years after down the line, Senator Akpabio in his capacity as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, along with the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr Daniel has been accused of embezzling N40 billion.

This man was brought to testify at the Nigerian Senate and he could not defend himself. This is the man that heads the ministry, and says he has come to clear up the Ministry.

How can a man stinking of so much corruption be able to fight it, and clean up the Ministry?

Festus Keyamo

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo said N46 billion had been budgeted to provide certain jobs for 774 Local Government Areas across the country.

In their projection, they are to pay each of the beneficiaries who is either a graduate and Masters Degree holder N20,000, when the government realised that the minimum wage is N30, 000.

Literally, they will be giving a graduate N60,000 within three months, which is less than $200. The disbursement of such money to the graduates will not address the issue of unemployment in the country.

The best option was for the Federal Government is to use that money to establish industries across the geo-political zones to absorb the teeming unemployed youths in the country.

The Minister also kicked off this so-called empowerment programme with wheelbarrows and cutlasses for the youths, most of who are graduates. How can you give cutlass and wheelbarrow to graduates? When they have openings at the NNPC, FIRS, CBN, Nigerian Customs, Immigration, NIMASA, NLNG, and so on, then give it to their own children.

The children of the common Nigerian is only good for wheelbarrows and cutlasses. They spent N46 billion to acquire those things. Tell me how we intend to end corruption in this country.

ASUU and Covid 19

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has began to play the kind of dirty politics that the Nigerian Labour is used to. After keeping our youths at home for one whole year, and then having reached an agreement with the Federal Government, they are now saying that they cannot go back to the classrooms to teach.

Apparently, they want to begin to demand for more money to return to school.

ASUU, in as much as he had a genuine cause to go on strike initially, must avoid the temptation of keeping our youths at home again.

It’s time to end our protests, Coalcity Youth Council appeal to Nigerian youths

CoalCity Youth Council has called on Nigerian youths to stop street protests, and seek the path of dialogue, in resolving issues bordering on bad governance.

National President, Comr. Ifebuchi Williams Chime stated this while speaking on the #EndSARS protests.

He stressed on the importance of halting further physical protests, proposing dialogue, law and politics as the youths await the outcome of the panels of inquiry set up by the Federal and State Governments.

According to Chime, Nigerian youths must realise that when one stresses on a particular issue too much, it could lose relevance within the populace.

His words “Our voices have been heard, our demands are sacrosanct, our blood spilled on the same cause, but we must deeply ponder about the future before embarking on another protest. Many of us are ready to die to see a working Nigeria but we can’t achieve it through fighting ourselves and government.

“We must give Federal and State Governments time to implement their promises, in order for us not to lose the sympathy we have already attracted locally and internationally”.

Speaking further, Chime noted that, while considering the proposed peaceful protest, it is pertinent to consider that this is Yuletide period.

“Our elderly siblings and aged mummies and daddies are anticipating the presence of their loved ones home after Covid19. Many have already fixed one event or another, such as burials, weddings and other ceremonial activities. Therefore, we must give room for peace at this moment”, he said.

#EndSARS: Protesters should stay stay away from Igboland for their own good, MASSOB warns

The leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) under Comrade Uchenna Madu has warned perpetrators of violence and public disturbances in Igbo land to put a stop to it.

According to the organisation, in a Press Release signed by Comrade Edeson Samuel, the National Director of Information, members of pro Biafra organizations and Biafrans in general have no intention or plans to be part of any protest or demonstration in Biafra land next week, during the Christmas season or any time soon.

It said “MASSOB received an intelligence report through Biafra Intelligence Agency (BIA) that sponsored thugs are being mobilized to cause violence civil unrest through an organized protest that will throw Igbo land into an unprecedented chaos and military invasion.

“Our enemies plan to use the anticipated pro Biafra protest to cause more devastative destruction of lives and properties of Ndigbo in this Yuletide season. They knew that the month of December and Christmas season is very important to Ndigbo because of our numerous festivities and homecomings. The sponsors of the protest are planning to create tension and insecurity in Igbo land which will frustrate the homecoming of our people for the Christmas festivals and reunification of kinsmen.

“MASSOB warns all the pro Biafra organizations not to allow themselves to be used in formenting trouble and violent acts that will jeopardize the lives and properties of Ndigbo. Ndigbo have not yet recovered from the Obigbo bloody massacre, the city of Aba, Onitsha, Enugu, Abakiliki and Owerri are yet to recover from the destruction of government and peoples properties including all the killings and destruction of our infrastructural establishments associated with the EndSARS protest.

“MASSOB warns that commercial atmosphere of our people should not be disturbed. We shall never allow perpetrators of violence to hold Igbo land ransom, we can no longer allow bloodsuckers to continue in their business of rendering young children to a fatherless state. Igbo land can never be sacrificed for selfish interest of some bloodsuckers who have no investment or developmental projects in Igbo land.

“MASSOB warns hired thugs and perpetrators of violence not to engage in any act of disguised protest or demonstration in Igbo land. Our people need peaceful atmosphere to flourish in their businesses in this yuletide season.

MASSOB warns sponsored and perpetrators of violence protest to stay clear of Igbo land now”, the statement ended.

INTERVIEW: Agitation for Biafra will end when Igbo man becomes president — Prof. Ibe

Prof. Gregory Ibe is the founder of Gregory University Uturu (GUU), Abia State and one of the people eyeing the governorship seat for Abia under the platform of PDP in 2023. In this interview with MADUAKO ELEWEKE, he speaks on EndSARS protests, Abia State charter of equity, Nigeria presidency of Igbo extraction among other things. Excerpts:

What is your take on the state of Nigeria, especially the just concluded EndSARS protest?

EndSARS came like a surprise to everybody and they hash- tagged it,, which switched all over the world and everybody decided to follow the challenge, because it was a challenge.

In the modern time, you must see this kind of thing because of one injustice or perceived injustice along the line. They went for the police to the extent that they took the matter so far and what came out of it was surprising to every right-thinking person.

Yes, there is right for agitations, which the president said was provided for in the Constitution. If I may say, we ran it to a point that hoodlums took over it and we couldn’t meet the aim again. The aim of the agitation was to develop a template to speak to the authorities, but as far I was concerned it was a total confusion because I don’t know if we actually achieved anything apart from the responses the president or the government gave.

If it was coordinated well, it could have led to sitting down with the government and bringing out something reasonable for the system. People bought into it and it became marketplace and what we are left with today is that our critical infrastructures have been reduced to nothing.

Police cannot operate in a vacuum; they need buildings, vehicle to carry out their duties. I think, we have left more vacuum, more dangerous vacuum than we tried to cure.

Every community needs police and security men, and they are not having it now. Police is your friend and now, how can police be your friend under this condition?

I think, there must be a reform system that would reform whole Nigeria. The police code of professional conduct ought to be put in place so that an average person would be watching what the other is doing. What led to American problem was American police sitting on a black man’s neck till he died.

So, I think we continue to reform police until they get where they ought to be. They were not like this some 20- 30 years ago. This is a lesson to Nigeria. Police and government should be reformed totally. I should also call for different forms of police in the country.

Let create railway police, school police and others to reduce the pressure on the main police and their duties should be enshrined in the Constitution.

I will also want the police to be decentralized and give state some level of autonomy. If there are traffic police, they should not do the work of civil police.

In some states, there is complain that police have refused to return to duties. What is your take?

With the vacuum, the state governors will have to create state police, which everybody has been clamouring for over the years. I know that Federal government will not allow that vacuum to be, because it is very dangerous. Two wrongs do not make a right.

So, I appeal to our brothers and sisters in the Police to return to work and function according to the laws that guide their operations. It was the police extrajudicial killing that triggered off the protest.

In some states, Covid-19 palliatives were hoarded, while people were dying of hunger, what does that portend about our leadership?

When Covid-19 started, you could recall that Federal Government shared a lot of seized rice from customs to different states government.

Some state governors complained that the rice was not good for human consumption. Some states still shared them to their people to eat that way and they ate and by God’s grace they survived. I want to look at few scenarios before any other thing.

Those states they found these rice and food items, were those food items part of the Federal government palliatives given to states? Two, when were these food items received? Some states claimed that they just received those items, and they were waiting for another outbreak to share them.

Again, federal government gave each governor N1billion for the Covid-19 pandemic. What did the governors do with the money? The Kogi State governor stated this and I am quoting him. Federal government should ask them to give account of how they spent the money. How many molecular laboratories did we have in each state done by the federal or state government during the Covid-19? Without National Centre for Diseases Control NCNC, I don’t think we would have survive it. We should critically review what the governors did with one billion naira and additional money from the various donor agencies across the country.

N1billion is not a small money. If you have an existing
building, to build a molecular laboratory it will not cost
more than N25 millions and with N100 millions, one will do
about four molecular laboratories in each state and
everybody would have been tested. VTM is between N800 to N1000 for single probe and N1500 to N1800 for double
probe. Tell me why government could not flood the country with all these materials to test every Nigerian?

For me, they made wrong excuses. The foods that were meant for hungry people and you kept them without giving to them. If the epidemic break out again, there is a government and system, there should be another provision.

Why allowing people to suffer hardship when there was provision to soften their challenges? Those states making such excuses and statements should stop that and find another excuse to give.

It was possible because federal government responded quickly and timely by sending N1billion to governors.

Where are all these monies? Federal Government should institute a panel to investigate all these things and find out what happened.

The Israeli government, my company Skill G and my University Gregory University Uturu in Abia state jointly produced materials and donated to Federal Government. We also did palliatives in Abuja, Imo and Abia States and if I have opportunity, I would have done it to the whole country.

Again, during Covid-19, I made sure that people have food on their tables. That is what we called responsiveness when it comes to emergency. I want us to be our brother’s keepers. I am looking at the situation where all the rich men will be their brother’s keepers, not just for their constituencies but to everybody.

Recently, one Nigerian national newspaper Daily Trust honoured you, as Unsung hero. How do you feel?

It was a surprise, that a newspaper could honour me with that. When somebody drew my attention to it, I was looking at the pictures; I could not recognize anybody. I also believed that many people looking at my face may not recognize my face. I appreciated the honour and those who were honoured along with me as well as those who are yet to be identified in the same honour that have done well to human development and bringing succour to people.

My philosophy in life is that, do what is right for the people and for the alleviation of poverty. Support one another, build capacity of other people so that their tomorrow will be better, and they will investigate you and you will live a life of fulfillment.

That was what I feel that has happened and it has been my guiding principle. I appreciated the newspaper, the people that wrote about me. If I still have the opportunity, I will continue to do good for the people for societal good.

Ebonyi State House of Assembly recently gave PDP 7 days ultimatum to zone it’s 2023 presidential ticket to South East or face court action. Again, the Igbo youths are agitating for Biafra, while the elders are calling for Nigeria presidency of Igbo extraction. Which way Ndigbo?

Freedom of expression and politics is guaranteed in the Constitution, but when it is taken too far, one begins to ask questions. A party prompted you up and suddenly you decided to give it warning that if it doesn’t give you presidential ticket the worst would happen.

I think 7 days have elapsed and we are waiting for their worst to happen. As far as I am concerned, the PDP national should disregard the threat and let see how to achieve our dreams of South East producing president of Nigeria. It is surprising that such statement was coming from the South East and with these kinds of utterances our chances of producing president of the country keep getting narrow by the day.

I for one I have been promoting president of Nigeria from South East. I have been on it over the years. I founded a coalition to make sure that the dreams of every Igbo man, that Igbo man become of the country is actualized.

You see our condition is very precarious and somebody who wants to be president is given ultimatum to the party that prompted him up or move to other party. This running from pillar to pole in politics gives me a lot of concern;
it weakens the position of Ndigbo in Nigeria politics.

As it stands today, Ndigbo is ripe, qualified and the right people to produce the president of this country come 2023. Nigerians should give Ndigbo the opportunity as given to others to lead this country.

Nigerians should disregard all the agitations by some group. If the Igbo is made the president of this country, Nigeria will develop faster because their views, thinking and God’s blessings on them. Other tribes have ruled the country and I hope if the opportunity is given us, we shall deliver effectively to the surprise of many.

Are you saying that if the Igbo man is made president of Nigeria, the Biafra agitations will die?

It will. There is nothing to worry about, it will just fizzle away any day Igbo become president of Nigeria. Let me give an example, when the governor of Zamfara state introduced Sharia law and people asked Obasanjo, who is my boss about what he had to say, he said he has nothing to say, rather he will allow market forces to determine the operation.

You know that strength of the governor was dependent on monthly allocation from federal government and the internally generated revenue.
He invested heavily on buses for commercial purpose for women and for men. Under two years, he could not handle the buses carrying women again and the women started joining the men in the same buses. The market forces played it roles, and everything died naturally.

So, the issue of Biafra agitations will fizzle out the day the Igbo man is made the president of Nigeria.

In Abia state where you are aspiring to be Governor under PDP platform, the Ngwa people are still insisting on continuing in power, what is your reaction?

There are a lot of permutations going around, but everybody seems to be playing blind eye on what Abia charter of equity says.

The Abia state charter of equity says at whatever situation, we find ourselves and if the three senatorial have a shot, the I (Isuikwuato) must have it.

This is the guiding document, the elders have said it should be enacted as a law in the state, but those who have tested the power from our district sat down on it because they can manipulate it.

Whatever is of God, is whoever that is going against this, must also know that life doesn’t belong to anybody. Whatever that is in this world comes from God.

Whatever, we are doing we must remember that there were people who made sacrifice for the state. After these people have taken their turn, Isuikwuato must have their turn to lead Abia State.
Why would people want to change the rules of the game at the middle of the game? They should remove selfishness, anything that should bring rancour in the zoning arrangement and let us have a state that is called a state.

APC is making serious in-roads in South East, especially Abia. do you think APC is a threat to PDP in Abia State?

APC is a political party and the more you spend the more visibility you get. Politics is all about creating impression, even when all is not good, you keep telling people that all is well Whether, APC is coming up or not, there are more people in the state that believe in PDP.

Abia is PDP and majority of ndi Abia believe, trust, and have confidence in PDP. PDP will certainly get all votes and supports of Abians any time and any day.

However, that does not mean a downtrodden party cannot come take over the state because at the end, there must be minus and plus. If your government is not doing well, you can lose out from the seat and APC become the bride for the people.

APGA can also become the perfect bride of the state depending on circumstances If the PDP can maintain it’s structure and all the seamless zoning formula that has been working in the state, the way it has been working, then it becomes more formidable and the pride of the state.

News Echo

#EndSARS: CNN releases damning report about Lekki toll gate shooting+VIDEO

This story contains graphic imagery of injury and death. The full names of some interviewees and the identities of others have been withheld for their safety.

Sometime after midnight on October 21, Elisha Sunday Ibanga answered a phone call from his older brother’s number.

The person on the other end of the line — a stranger — broke the news that Ibanga’s brother, Victor, had been shot dead at the Lekki toll gate, in Lagos, Nigeria, where he had been peacefully protesting against police brutality earlier that night.

“The person told me that the police took his body away,” Ibanga, 24, told CNN.

An eyewitness to Victor Sunday Ibanga’s death told CNN the 27-year-old entrepreneur was shot in the head during the protest.

CNN has obtained and geolocated a photograph of Victor’s body lying in a pool of blood and wrapped in the white and green of the Nigerian standard — one of the same flags gripped by fellow protesters earlier in the evening as they sang the country’s national anthem. Ibanga confirmed the photograph is of his brother.

The body of Victor Sunday Ibanga is pictured in a pool of blood.

The Ibangas are one of several families yet to locate the bodies of their missing loved ones — protestors at the toll gate — who dozens of eyewitnesses say were shot at, first by members of the Nigerian army and then hours later by police. Eyewitnesses told CNN they saw the army remove a number of bodies from the scene.

What happened on October 20, and into the early hours of October 21, at the eight-lane Lekki toll gate — a key piece of Lagos’ road network — has stunned the country.

The protesters who were present have told CNN it was a “massacre” with multiple people killed and dozens wounded. But local authorities have downplayed that account.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, admitted to CNN that footage showed uniformed soldiers firing on peaceful protesters but claimed only two demonstrators were killed.

But, he then said there was “not a scratch of blood” at the toll gate when he visited. The governor said no families had approached authorities saying they were missing relatives.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the army denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as “fake news,” before backtracking and saying that soldiers were present but fired their weapons in the air and used blanks, not live rounds.

CNN’s calls to the Nigerian army have not been returned. But on November 14, during a judicial inquiry into the shooting, army representative Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo said, “There’s no way officers and men will kill their brothers and sisters. I repeat no way. We have those who constantly seek to drive a wedge between us and between the citizens of Nigeria…”

The army also said at the hearing that it was the governor who called soldiers to the scene because the police were overrun. The governor has denied this, saying he does not have the authority to call in the army. The army has continued to restate that they did not fire live rounds.

But an investigation by CNN into the disputed events has cast doubt on authorities’ shifting and changing statements.

Evidence of bullet casings from the scene match those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials. Verified video footage — using timestamps and data from the video files — shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses establish that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.

Victor Sunday Ibanga

Since Elisha Sunday Ibanga learned of his brother’s death, he has been visiting hospitals in a desperate search for his remains.

“My mother, my sisters, all my family are in prayer, just to see if we can find out and know where my brother’s dead body is,” he said.

The bodies of other protesters are nowhere to be found.

Peace Okon, 24, hasn’t seen her younger brother Wisdom, 18, since he went to the protest the night of the shooting.

Wisdom Okon

“He just came back from work on that Tuesday, ate his food and went there,” Okon told CNN.

She started worrying when he didn’t arrive home that night. By the next morning, Okon was out searching for him. “I’ve gone to hospitals, I’ve gone to police stations, I’ve gone to everywhere. I can’t find him,” she said.

Her brother had only moved to Lagos a few weeks before the protest — Okon had helped him find a job as a cleaner at a bank. She says he didn’t know anyone at the protest and had never been to one before.

Okon said she wants the Nigerian authorities to tell her if her brother is alive and detained or dead.

The shootings at Lekki toll gate followed weeks of “#EndSARS” protests against police brutality that had burst onto the streets of cities across Nigeria.

For almost a fortnight, thousands of young Nigerians mostly under 30 — a demographic that makes up 40% of the country’s population — protested, with calls for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit widely and repeatedly accused of kidnapping, harassment and extortion.

Police had agreed to disband the controversial unit but protests continued. It would be the fourth time it was being disbanded.

There were peaceful marches, candlelight vigils, multi-faith prayer sessions and DJ performances that attracted backing and solidarity from celebrities, the Nigerian diaspora and supporters around the world. The movement quickly widened beyond police brutality to other grievances — capturing the frustrations of a young population demanding an end to bad governance in the oil-rich country.

Lekki, a relatively affluent suburb of Lagos, and the toll gate became a focal point of the movement.

However, about 10 days into the protests, the demonstrations were hijacked by “thugs and sponsored hoodlums” who attacked protesters, causing deaths and injuries, according to Amnesty International Nigeria.

In response, on October 20, hours before the shooting, Governor Sanwo-Olu imposed a strict curfew starting at 4 p.m. following looting and vandalism in other parts of the state.

It was later moved to 9 p.m. to allow commuters to get home. The timeline for when the curfew was imposed has become a point of contention between the Governor and the military. The army said their soldiers were unaware of the change to the later time, according to the army spokesperson’s testimony to the eight-person judicial panel on November 14.

For 24 hours, only essential service providers were to be allowed on the streets of the 20-million strong city.

Demonstrators protest police brutality at the Lekki toll gate on October 20.

Testimony from dozens of eyewitnesses and family members interviewed by CNN and a forensic examination of hours of video and dozens of photographs captured before, during and after the two shooting incidents show how a fledgling protest movement was all but extinguished by the very thing Nigerians were demonstrating against.

Less than three hours after the original curfew time came into effect, army trucks left the Bonny Camp barracks on Victoria Island and headed towards the toll gate plaza and the protesters, according to videos reviewed by CNN.

Two eyewitnesses told CNN they saw soldiers arriving in a Toyota Hilux pickup truck with “OP Awatse” written on it — the name of a joint military task force that operates in Lagos State.

Videos examined by CNN show the army trucks approaching the protesters from both sides of the toll gate — barricading them in.

DJ Switch, a local musician whose real name is Obianuju Catherine Udeh, was streaming live on Instagram when it all happened and the shooting began.

The shooting started almost immediately, with no warning given. Panic ensued as protesters attempted to flee.

“Please explain to me how, in which part of the world, do you go to a protest with live bullets.”

“There was a guy that was running, and he just… he fell, and we looked at him. He was shot in the back,” DJ Switch, 29, told CNN, as she tried to talk during an interview while crying.

“Please explain to me how, in which part of the world, do you go to a protest with live bullets,” she said.

From multiple videos, CNN has pieced together a timeline that shows that shooting by the army lasted from 6:43 p.m. until at least 8:24 p.m., according to video evidence.

The videos capturing some of those 101 minutes tell a story of terror and chaos. They show graphic injuries and people bleeding on the ground.

One eyewitness, Sarah, whose last name we’re not publishing for her safety, told CNN that the soldiers shot in the air but also directly at protesters.

“They pointed their guns at us and they started shooting,” she said. “They were shooting in the air, they were shooting at us, they were shooting everywhere.”

Some chanted: “We are peaceful protesters” and “End Sars, we no go gree [pidgin for we will not agree, or give in].”

“They’re shooting, they’re shooting,” another person screams in one of the videos. Cries of “Na lie, na lie [exclamations of disbelief in pidgin]” can also be heard.

In several of the videos, reviewed and verified by CNN, some of the protesters can be seen carrying bodies, the flashlights on their phones the only thing illuminating the darkness as the sound of ambulance sirens wail in the background. It is not known whether these were dead or injured protesters.

In another, there are several injured people, some on the ground bleeding while defiant protesters continued to wave Nigerian flags.

Injured people whom CNN has confirmed were present at the toll gate started arriving in local hospitals — carried by civilians — from 7:19 p.m. while the shooting was still ongoing, according to videos analyzed by CNN.

One of the protesters, Mathew, pictured, says he was injured when the army opened fire at Lekki toll gate. Using metadata, CNN geolocated the image to the protest location at 6:50 pm.

CNN has also seen and verified footage from one man who used his car as a makeshift ambulance and transported people to hospital.

Separately, Dr. Ayo Aranmolate, executive medical director at Grandville medical center, told CNN he and his colleagues received around 15 injured people that night with various gunshot wounds and cuts. None of the people they treated died, he added.

“We referred some for treatment to other hospitals,” Dr. Aranmolate said. “One of the victims had to have his leg amputated.”

The army has denied that anyone was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, and that they only shot into the air.

Speaking in front of the judicial panel, the army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo continued to deny that anyone was shot.

Multiple eyewitnesses told CNN that ambulances were prevented from reaching the scene by the authorities.

A video filmed at 8:49 p.m., according to metadata, shows ambulance workers in a van at the scene saying they are unable to get through.

When contacted by CNN to share the findings of this investigation, a Lagos State government spokesman declined to comment.

“Talking about that subject now will be sub-judicial since the matter is already before a panel of inquiry. Until the panel concludes its investigation, the subject will not be open to any discussion or comment by any State official,” the spokesperson said.

Members of the judicial panel visit the Lekki toll gate on October 30.

DJ Switch said she wanted people to see what was happening which is why she started broadcasting.

“I didn’t want anybody to come on and twist the story. I wanted people to see. So, I just went live.”

At one point during the broadcast, there were attempts to resuscitate a man in red clothing who had passed out.

Later, DJ Switch can be seen helping to extract a bullet lodged in another man’s thigh as he screams in agony. Someone in the crowd says, “you will live, you will not die.”

As the live broadcast ends, people are still trying to apply CPR on the man in red, while DJ Switch can be heard saying, “this guy is dying.”

DJ Switch told CNN that protesters lifted bodies with bullet wounds and put them at the soldiers’ feet.

“I said, why are you killing us? Why are you doing this,” she said. “He expressly told me: ‘I am acting on orders from above.'”

CNN has examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings match those used by the army. Two ballistics experts have also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks.

CNN has verified that bullets fired at Lekki toll gate are from live ammunition. This one was manufactured in Serbia in 2005, and is currently in use by the Nigerian army.

And working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN has established that several of the bullets from the Lekki toll gate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.

After the army withdrew from the scene, members of the police, including the SARS police unit — disbanded by authorities on 11 October — moved in, according to multiple eyewitnesses CNN spoke with.

In a video obtained by CNN and geolocated to Lekki toll gate at 2:36 a.m., one eyewitness, Legend, whose second name we’re not publishing for his safety, can be seen with the Nigerian flag around his head saying, “…my hand is broken, my leg is broken, and police are still shooting at us.”

“I couldn’t count how many dead because I was running for my life.”

“They are shooting anything that moves outside…Stay safe through the night. And if I don’t make it through the night let it be known that I died fighting for our freedom, for what we believe in.”

Legend, who survived, told CNN his father was a police officer and that he recognized the SARS uniform. About 200 protesters remained at the toll gate when witnesses say police and SARS arrived, he added.

“I couldn’t count how many dead because I was running for my life,” Legend said. “If I stood my ground five more seconds, I would be dead.”

While CNN has not been able to independently verify that SARS members were present, multiple eyewitnesses said they saw police officers, accompanied by officers from the unit, at the scene after the army left.

A Lagos State police spokesman declined to comment because of the ongoing panel investigation. But police have denied any use of force against protesters on Twitter, saying, “….our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters.”

The widespread looting and damage that occurred across Lagos in the aftermath of the Lekki toll gate shooting has led to the authorities clamping down on people who took part in the protests.

Workers clean up the Lekki toll gate on October 24.

Many feel they are being scapegoated for taking part in peaceful protests — wrongly blamed for the looting — and fear has descended on the movement since the shooting.

Moe Odele, a prominent lawyer who was giving legal advice to demonstrators arrested during the protests, says she was recently prevented from leaving the country after her passport was seized. Odele told CNN that her passport has since been returned.

The country’s central bank has obtained a 90-day court order freezing the accounts of those who took part in the demonstrations, according to media reports, while a journalist who covered the protests was arrested and detained for five days before being freed on bail.

Several eyewitnesses have fled the country, while others are living in safe houses. Some told CNN they were offered money to recant their initial testimonies.

CNN has seen some of the messages received, though it is unclear who is sending them.

“We’re hiding because our lives are in danger,” an eyewitness named Sarah told CNN. “We can’t go out, our jobs are on hold right now, and it’s really sad because we did nothing wrong.”

“All we did was ask for change.”

Edited by Blathnaid Healy. Map by Natalie Croker and Henrik Pettersson. Photo editing by Sarah Tilotta

CNN

#EndSARS activists begin mass shutdown of accounts with Access Bank

Aggrieved activists over the weekend mobilised for the mass closure of Access Bank accounts and the boycotting of the bank’s products and services.

The punitive action, some of the activists said, would start from today, Monday, November 16, 2020, and is in retaliation for the bank’s closure of the accounts of some chieftains of the recent #EndSARS protests.

Below are some of the tweets preparing the ground for the mass action:

JuwonSanyaolu @AyowoleSanyaolu: As we all close our Access Bank account in protest against freezing the account of some #EndSARS Protesters, let’s also remember that @simplyEromz, EndSars activist, will be spending the 8th day in illegal detention without being charged to court.

#FreeEromz #SaturdayMotivation

Uchechukwu @UcheJ07: If you are still banking with @myaccessbank You support tyranny and you are spitting on the people who lost thier lives during the #EndSARS protest…

Close your access Bank account #BoycottAccessBank
@DirectorSolomon: If you are still banking with @myaccessbank
You support tyranny and you are spitting on the people who lost thier lives during the #EndSARS protest…

Close your access Bank account #BoycottAccessBank
Bida Boy @kennysax2 Replying to @myaccessbank:
You switched of your security light and cameras during the #endsars protest.

You sacked 800 staffs including my cousin during #COVID19
You granted the top of your building for evil men to use against young Nigerians.

Access bank will never trend for good reason.

No_Nonsense_Queen @QueenNonsense: 2 things we ask here.

Close your access bank account..

Never send money to someone through access bank.

#BoycottAccessBank
Naija @Naija_PR: Some Nigerians have decided to close their Access Bank account because of what happened to some of #EndSARS protesters account

Eloquent RealtorPurple heartElectric light bulb @only1oleever:
BREAKING TIPS: ways to boycott Access Bank

close your account with them

stop sending money to any access bank account holder, let them give you another account to send money to #BoycottAccessBank

Mazi Edunwannem @Edunwannem: If you see me on Monday walking into
@accessbank, am going in to close my access bank account. Na person wey dey with me I go dey with.

#EndSarsNow Raised fistFlag of Nigeria @kennytrips: I don’t have bank account with Access Bank to close but I have just unfollowed them here. Visit the Twitter account and unfollow too.
@myaccessbank you made the wrong move.

News Express

#EndSARS: In Lagos, Ikpeazu preaches reconciliation, reassurances and confidence building

Following the EndSARS protest, Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has advocated for the country to embark on reconciliation, reassurances and confidence building among all citizens as a way forward for the nation.

The Governor stated this on Thursday while on a visit to his Lagos State counterpart, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos.

The Abia Governor said it was necessary to embark on these exercises “to further emphasise on those things that bind and unite us a people”.

Ikpeazu who commiserated with families that lost loved ones and property during the protests, said he was elated by the opportunity he had to also personally convey his sympathy to the Lagos State Governor over the attack on the residence of his mother and on the palace of the Oba of Lagos during the EndSARS protest, said “we should aim to learn so much from the supreme sacrifice made by Lt Col Adekunle Fajuyi, then military Governor of the former Western region, who defended his friend, Gen Aguiyi Ironsi even with his life. That action of his has elevated the ceiling of expectations of love, loyalty and patriotism between the people of Abia State and those of the entire South West”, he said.

Continuing, the Govermor said such supreme sacrifice paid for a friend should challenge us as a people of all divides and inclinations to be our brother’s keeper.

The Abia State Governor expressed gratitude to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for providing the needed ambience for Ndi Igbo to thrive in Lagos and assured that Abia State remans home for all Nigerians engaged in legitimate businesses to succeed.

He advised Abians in Lagos to remain law abiding and supportive of the Government of the day.

How IPOB Used #EndSARS To Attack Igbo Muslims- Mallam Okonkwo

The Director, Islamic Centre, School of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Anofia, Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Mallam Isa Friday Okonkwo, was a former Director of Administration of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).

He told Daily Trust how the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) used the #EndSARS protests to attack Igbo Muslims at the centre and the region. He also spoke on how they were ‘caged’ at the centre for days at the height of the crisis.

Before the #EndSARS, let me take us back to 2017, when one of our brothers, who used to be a Muslim, and by name Muhammed Nbono, submitted the names of about 26 Muslims in Igbo land to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as those sabotaging the interest of having their country and thereby marking them for death.

For over a year, there were threat calls coming to all of us from all over the world, from members of IPOB. But after some time, it stopped.

During the #EndSARS protests, the names were re-published on their Facebook pages and the calls resumed. Daily, we get up to three calls from strangers, threatening to destroy us. So, this is on one side. On the other side is this Islamic Centre in Afikpo, which is a unique Islamic school in the eastern part of the country and the whole country.

It has been in existence since around 1953 and it took a new shape in 1983 and from 1983 until date, it has always been graduating scholars from that part of the country.

It is also important to mention that in 2006, there was an attempt to bomb this place. They came and raided the place. Eventually, the destruction was not too much.

So, this time around, they send messages after messages that they will be coming to attack the Islamic Centre. So, all this while there were protests, we have been living in fear. I could be attacked as the person of Isa Okonkwo and the centre could be attacked as the Islamic Centre.

What was your experience during the #EndSARS protests?

We were under siege throughout the protests. We could not even go out. We were in the school with all the students and there were about 300 student boarders from different parts of the country. We could not move anywhere.

So, when the threat was getting too much, we attracted the attention of the IGP, the director of DSS and even later, the governor of the state. That was when we started to have security agencies coming to protect us in the school. So, we first had some policemen who came to stay with us in the school. Later, the GOC of 18 Division instructed the commanding officer of Nkwangu Cantonment and they sent about seven soldiers. So, both the police and seven soldiers are presently with us on the school premises, 24 hours of every day.

How then are the students and the teachers feeling coming to the school to study with policemen and soldiers around?

It was when we saw the policemen that we even felt comfortable to teach and learn. It was so horrible when they were not there. Let me tell you one shocking incident that happened. The chief of the village used to park his cars in the compound of this school because of the cordial relationship between us and the village. So, at a stage, the chief decided to remove his cars. So, I asked the driver, why the sudden removal. He said that the chief said that IPOB is going to attack any moment from now. And that they said that the director is the first they will make sure they eliminate, so, he didn’t want his cars to be damaged because they could mistake his cars for the director’s.

So, you did not receive any support from the people that you are living with as neighbours or did you think this was something beyond them?

When the chief of the village removed his vehicles from the school, we didn’t want to wait for anybody else to tell us it is the right time we looked for security, because from the chief’s statement, which I will later confirmed, it was obvious that the last man that was supposed to protect us is the one running from being attacked or being mistaken for the director.

How many Muslims are in the area and what is the population of all the people?

The village is over 30 per cent Muslim. I cannot say for sure what the population is, but for sure, I think it is the second-highest population of Muslims within a locality in Igboland. After Nsukka, the next is that village, Afikpo. I am talking of indigenous Muslims, who are the citizens of the area.

What are your plans now, considering that the protests have subsided but the tension is still there?

We have a kind of think tank from the Eastern part of the country as Muslims. I have presented this to them. I am one of them, we have a series of meetings on how to intervene.

We have written letters to the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), intimating them of our problems; we have written letters to the IG of Police, to the DG of DSS, the National Assembly. We have also written letters to all the five governors of the south-eastern region.

So, we are planning to address a press conference. But we don’t have the press here in the east. So, we were thinking of coming to Abuja to do that, to let people know how we are living. Because the Americans will always say that the Christians are being victimized in Nigeria. When, they are the ones dealing with every other part of this country, but nobody tells our story, nobody hears us even when we want to shout. So, we are planning to go out and do the shouting. I am one of those persons that used my contacts to reach out to so many places and they started narrating our case.

We also intend to write to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo that have always vilified the Muslims in the east, so they would note what is going on.

They close their eyes as if they don’t know what is going on. So, we also intend to officially write to them. We also intend to write CAN in the eastern part of the country. So that all this will be on the record. So, some of us are planning to have a congress of all the Igbo Muslims all over the world.

But because of fear, we would not want to have a congress where we could all be wiped out at a time. So, these are just some of the thoughts and activities we are having presently.

But IPOB wanted to establish a country for the Igbos and you are Igbo, why do you think they are attacking you then?

People are mistaken their antics. It is not a tribal war. It is a religious war. They claim they are using is that of Biafra and the main actors of the Biafran Civil War were majorly Christians from the north. People like Yakubu Gowon. Today Yakubu Gowon is a chief in the east with red carpet reception because he is a Christian. T. Y. Danjuma is a chief in the east with red carpet reception because he is a Christian. Now, we have never said we are in support of Biafra, or we are against it, so why must we be the first target? It is just because we are Muslims, nothing else.

*Now, the 26 names of the people they published to kill are all Muslims. They’ve never listed any pastor or reverend. What does that show you, it shows that if you are a Christian from the north, you are safe in the hands of Biafra; if you are Muslim from the east, you are unsafe in the hands of Biafra.*

What message do you have for the politicians and the leaders in the region who are the ones that are supposed to protect you?

Our message to the federal, state and local governments in the region is that we are citizens of Nigeria, we are not foreigners, it is just by the design of our creator that we decided to profess a faith in a country that has a Constitution, which states that everybody is free to choose their association. We have chosen Islam as our religion and Allah as our God and we feel strongly that we have not committed any crime by doing that. And they owe us the protection of our lives and properties.

Nigerian Defence Intelligence plans to kill me, Sahara Reporters founder, Omoyele Sowore cries out

Omoyele Sowore, Nigerian activist and founder of online news agency, Sahara Reporters, has disclosed that a bounty has been placed on his head.

According to the journalist, the Defence Intelligence academy put a bounty on his head, that he must be arrested and murdered.

He wrote on his Twitter page(https://twitter.com/YeleSowore/status/1326617987558887425?s=19) “Info reaching me now is that a signal from Defence Intelligence Agency has put a bounty on my head, that I must be arrested or murdered as they claim I would resist arrest in the next 24hrs! This is from the Defence HQ here is Abuja!

“The Inspector General of Police, Adamu is also involved and I am sure the DSS are all involved. Be it known that this can’t affect the struggle for freedom! It doesn’t matter what they do to me, please let this generation never give up, we just have to do this now so that we will never leave the next generation of Nigerians with this recurring nonsense! Thank you!”, he tweeted.

#EndSARS: Lecturer narrates ordeal in detention as Anambra judicial panel receives 114 petitions

The State Panel of Enquiry on Police Brutality, Extra-Judicial Killings and Other Related Matters yesterday announced that petitions from victims of the recently disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have increased to 114.

Anambra is noted to be one of the states with the highest number of SARS brutality, torture and extrajudicial killings in the country, with the police unit’s Awkuzu headquarters officially code-named ‘hellfire’.

Chairman of the panel in Anambra, Justice Veronica Umeh (Rtd) announced during the panel’s sitting yesterday at the Anambra State government house that more petitions were coming in, and that so far, 114 petitions had been received.

She said, “We have started in earnest. We have 114 petitions so far. We dismissed some the other day and treated some too. We have a total of 114 now, and from Thursday, we will announce a new sitting arrangement, and we want you all to bear with us.

“From next week, we will produce a tag for all members of the panel, so that it would be easy for us to know who is who. I urge you all to submit your passports. Journalists are also expected to clearly display their press tags very clearly, so we know those who are here.”

Meanwhile, the panel entertained some petitions, including testimonies from a lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Dr Justin Nwankwo who said the defunct SARS operatives ruptured his scrotum in the process of torturing him in 2013.

He also asked for compensation for properties confiscated by men of the SARS from his room during his ordeal, and compensation for unjustly branding him a kidnapper and human parts dealer.

He told journalists that, “The incident happened in 2013. I was the manager of the Upper Class Hotel in Onitsha, and I was also a PhD student then. We had rented out one of our rooms to a guest, who was properly checked in.

“In the morning, policemen came and searched the hotel and discovered some skulls in room 102, and the guest to whom we rented the room was not there. We told them that we duly recorded the guest before check-in, and that same morning, we had taken our manifest of all people who were guests to the CID department as was the practice, but they refused to listen.

“We urged them to investigate the guest as only he could tell how the skulls got there, but they were more interested in parading us as kidnappers and human parts dealers. I was brutally tortured and had a near-death experience for 81 days in SARS office Awkuzu, and I almost died.

“We (staff of Upper Class Hotel) were detained, tortured and released without any charge. I sustained damaged testicles, and ruptured scrotum, with lots of bodily harm. I am seeking compensation for the demolition of the hotel and for my name to be cleared, and my properties paid for.”

He regretted that immediately after they were arrested, no investigation was carried out, nor any panel set, but the then state governor, Mr Peter Obi ordered the demolition of the hotel on the same day.

“The police knew that no one was missing in that room, the man who rented the room had a name and the manifest was submitted to the police. The person who brought the skull is the person who should be investigated.

“Under one day, there was an executive, a judiciary and all investigation carried out in one day and the hotel was demolished, all in one day. Peter Obi was hasty (with the demolition) but said he had information, and never made such information known.

“We were paraded to the world as people selling human parts and taken for torture. That to me as a PhD student then was enough blacklisting. They know you cannot as hotel management ask to search the bag of guests. Our instinct is clear and we know that it was a plant. The hotel owner (Mr Bonaventure Mokwe) was set up by his adversaries and we (staff) were caught in the web,” he said.