Wednesday, 21 October 2020

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

A glitch hit the website of Nigeria’s central bank Friday in an apparent cyberattack, which made it go on and off intermittently.

Hackers collective Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack in the continuation of the takedown of Nigerian Government-owned social media accounts and websites.

The hackers said the series of attacks on government-owned websites were to support the widespread protests against police brutality in Nigeria.

“International hackers & Anonymous continue the cyber campaign against the government to call out corruption, demand police reform, and show solidarity with brave protestors,” the group said on one of its Twitter handles, quoting a tweet by a certain Lorian Synaro.

Synaro boasted that the website “will be down again” after it became following the initial takedown.

The attack on CBN’s website is the group’s most audacious move yet since it launched its Nigerian operations on Wednesday.

Since then, the website of the National Industrial Court has been hacked, confidential SARS information and details of hundreds of contracts awarded by the Edo State Government leaked, and the Twitter handle of the National Broadcasting Commission hacked.

Earlier on Friday, National Information Technology Development Agency’s official Twitter handle retweeted a message by Galaxy Backbone, an Internet service provider in Nigeria, advising all government ministries, departments and agencies to enable two-factor authentication on their Twitter accounts to limit chances of being hacked.

NITDA later in the day tweeted an instruction on how to enable the two-factor authentication.

Published in Headliners

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo fired multiple tweets on Friday, seeking understanding from the #EndSAR protesters, apologising and assuring them that government is responding to their demands.

Here is his message to protesters:

Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry.

We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.

The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.

With Mr. President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.

I am sending my deepest condolences to the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers. To those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery.

We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which @NigeriaGov will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.

We also understand that the issues that you’re raising are bigger than just SARS. They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.

On Monday, Mr. President also reiterated his commitment to these extensive police reforms.

We will continue to update and engage with you all on these action steps and the ones to come, in the spirit of transparency, so that you can hold us accountable. We are, after all, here to serve you and we owe you a duty to win back your trust.

Keep safe. God bless you. – YO

Published in Business and Economy

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo fired multiple tweets on Friday, seeking understanding from the #EndSAR protesters, apologising and assuring them that government is responding to their demands.

Here is his message to protesters:

Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry.

We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.

The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.

With Mr. President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.

I am sending my deepest condolences to the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers. To those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery.

We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which @NigeriaGov will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.

We also understand that the issues that you’re raising are bigger than just SARS. They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.

On Monday, Mr. President also reiterated his commitment to these extensive police reforms.

We will continue to update and engage with you all on these action steps and the ones to come, in the spirit of transparency, so that you can hold us accountable. We are, after all, here to serve you and we owe you a duty to win back your trust.

Keep safe. God bless you. – YO

Published in Business and Economy

Gbenga Omokhunu, Osagie Otabor, Frank Ikpefan, Yinka Adeniran, Ernest Nwokolo, Chris Oji, Toba Adedeji, Sanni Onogu, Eric Ikhilae, AbdulGafar Alabelewe/ The Nation

MAJOR cities in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, witnessed more protests against police brutality on Wednesday. The protests are continuing even when operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are handing over in the states to return to the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

In Lagos, protesters defied rain. They laid siege on the Lekki toll gate on the Lekki-Epe Expressway. The protesters grounded vehicular traffic. They chanted “End SARS, END SWAT”, “End Police Brutality”.

Several residents who had to access the toll gate to get to work returned home because of the massive traffic.

The protests also continued in Alausa, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikorodu, Surulere, Lagos Mainland and Apapa. A fire Engine belonging to the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service was attacked and damaged by some of the protesters at Alausa. The acting head of the agency, Mrs Margaret Adeseye, confirmed this in a statement.

According to the protesters at the Lekki-Epe Expressway toll gate, the SWAT is a SARS in another garb.

“The IGP does not seem to understand our grievances. We are not talking about name changing, rather a thorough reformation,” a protester said.

Another protester urged the government to ensure proper remuneration of the policemen.

The protesters’ camps continued to bubble with live Disc Jockeys (DJs), dishing out music to the admiration of the protesters. There were enough food and drinks to keep up the momentum.

Some of the protesters are planning to show England Premiership League matches live at the Lekki-Epe Expressway toll gate. Some were even suggesting on the social media that churches should hold their Sunday services at the protest grounds.

In Iyana-Ipaja and Ikorodu, it was a dancing galore. While the protesters at Iyana-Ipaja danced to the Idris AbdulKareem’s popular ‘Nigeria jagajaga’ lyrics, those in Ikorodu staged dancing competition.

Commissioner of Police Commissioner (CP) Hakeem Odumosu on Wednesday debriefed operatives of the scrapped SARS, Anti-Kidnapping Squad (AKS), Anti-Cultism Squad (ACS) and Raider.

Already all pending investigations and suspects in their custody have been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, while their weapons were returned to the state’s armoury.

According to a statement by spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the CP warned them to desist from parading themselves as SARS operatives or any operatives under whatever nomenclature in the state.

Protesters in Anambra State claimed twelve people were killed by policemen. The protesters stormed Awka, the state capital demanding the prosecution of members of the disbanded SARS. They drove and marched through some streets in Awka, the state-owned Anambra Broadcasting Service ABS and the State House of Assembly.

The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions, including, “those who killed innocent people must be prosecuted, we will not rest until justice is done”.

The protesters listed some of the communities that mostly lost their sons in the hands of SARS as Onitsha, Oraifite, Awka, Ozubulu, Ihiala, Nando and Aguleri.

At the SARS office in Awkuzu, Oyi local government area, operations were in full swing. Members of SARs were seen in their usual mufti attires with AK -47 riffles, parading the premises.

The Nation gathered that the suspects being held at the SARs office were still there.

Police Public Relations Officer Mohammed Haruna said the Awkuzu SARS office remained the property of the police.

Warri, Delta State, was grounded on Wednesday. Hundreds of protesters took to major roads of Warri and Effurun.

The youths kicked off the peaceful march at about 8 am from the popular Delta Mall in Effurun Roundabout, walked through the Effurun-Warri Sapele Road, stopping at Airport, Jakpa, Enerhen and Deco Junctions, as well as marching on to Estate Roundabout, all in Warri South and Uvwie council areas. The procession caused heavy traffic across the twin cities. Some motorists, business people and pedestrians gave a nod to the movement, cheering them on.

The protesters bore placards with inscriptions such as “End Police Brutality,” Stop Killing Us,” End SWAT, End SARS,” We said EndSARS, not change them,” I am a filmmaker, I am not a fraudster. Stop harassing me,” among others.

Security operatives were also spotted monitoring the exercise.

Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, also felt the weight of the protests. Youths stormed the Lugard House seat of government.

The youths who turned out in their hundreds demanded to see the governor. Efforts by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Jamiu Asuku, to plead with them that the governor was at the weekly State Executive Council meeting fell on deaf ears.

According to Bernard Ajewole, spokesperson of the protesting youths, “What we want is beyond disbandment and replacing it with another. Just yesterday, they came to our campus (Prince Abubakar Audu University) Ayingba in their uniforms, where they arrested some students and made them to part with N100,000 before they were released.

“This is happening despite the Inspector General’s directives that members of the disbanded SARS should report in Abuja for debriefing.

•ANAMBRA: Protesters in Anamba. PHOTO: NWANOSIKE ONU

“The youth are gathered here today to give solidarity to fellow youths protesting police brutality across the country.

“We want Nigerian police that is refined enough to tackle various acts of criminality without extrajudicial killings,” he said.

In Akwa Ibom State, protesters stormed the Akwa Ibom State Government House, Uyo. Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked them for being peaceful.

“Let me thank all of you for the peaceful manner in which this has been conducted. I want to thank all the youths and all the leaders and also express our concern on what this fight has been all about.

”Let me also appreciate the President of Nigeria who had acted promptly to have announced the disbandment of SARS completely. If the President that we know has given that commitment, I trust that he will keep to it. At the state here, I want to assure you that there will never be anything like police brutality,” he said.

The governor said the state government was engaging the police command in the state to ensure a harmonious relationship among the institutions of government and communities.

The leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) threw its weight behind the protests. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB commended the youths for putting aside their ethnic and religious differences to protest the excesses of SARS operatives and police officers in general.

“IPOB gives kudos to all those involved in the on-going #ENDSARS protest all over the British created contraption. We are happy that at last the youths of this generation have come to terms with the brutal reality of life in Nigeria which we saw many years back,” the group said.

Oyo Assembly honours Jimoh Isiaka, two others

In Oyo State, members of the Oyo State House of Assembly yesterday observed a minute silence for Jimoh Isiaka and two other dead victims of the #EndSARS protest that rocked the ancient city of Ogbomosho on Sunday.

The honour for the victims of the protest followed a request made to the House by the lawmaker representing Ogbomosho North state constituency, Mrs Olawumi Oladeji when she raised a matter of urgent public importance on the “Urgent Need to Investigate Killing of Jimoh Isiaka During the ‘End SARS’ Protest in Ogbomosho and Invasion of Soun’s Palace by yet-to-be-identified hoodlums”.

The Assembly called on Governor Seyi Makinde to order an investigation into the killing of Jimoh Isiaka as well as the invasion of the Soun of Ogbomoso’s palace.

RCCG: SWAT should not be old wine in a new bottle

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) should not be a glass of old wine in a new bottle.

Assistant General Overseer, (Administration and Personnel), Pastor Johnson Odesola, said: “The Church welcomes the disbandment of the SARS, and notes the establishment of a new outfit called the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) but warned that it should not become a case of old wine in a new bottle.

“The Church reiterated its call on Government to take urgent steps to tackle the rising rate of unemployment, decay in the nation’s educational system and the general harsh economic situation in the country.”

He appealed to the protesters to comport themselves orderly and eschew violence and destruction.

North’s coalition set to begin expanded protest today

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) yesterday directed all its chapters across the 19 northern states to begin an expanded #ENDSARS protests across the region today.

A statement by the coalition’s spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said: “CNG has followed developments around the bold and necessary steps taken by Nigerian citizens in some parts of the country including some northern states to call attention to the deteriorating national security and other pressing concerns around the dwindling economy, prohibitive commodity prices, rising inflation amidst mounting poverty and prolonged stay at home by university students.”

We need state police now, says Ekweremadu

Former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to decentralise the police.

Ekweremadu regretted that the Bill to amend the constitution to create state police, which he sponsored in the 8th Senate as well as the current Senate, had not received the required political support.

Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Uche Anichukwu, said the Federal Government was still addressing the symptoms rather than the real illness.

Ganduje to Buhari, IG: flush out bad elements

Kaduna State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu to flush out the bad elements in the police.

Ganduje joined hundreds of youths who gathered at the Government House gate to support the ongoing police reforms.

“We are calling on the president and the police IG to fish out those bad elements within the police force. This will pave the way for an intelligent and reformed security institution.

“We appeal to the IGP that the reformation, through SWAT, should be consolidated to protect the Nigerian people.”

Published in Business and Economy

Street protests and demonstrations have been banned in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Security Committee announced today.

It said the decision was taken on Tuesday, as part of measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.

It also revealed the real reason for the ban: the unrelenting peaceful protests against FSARS and police brutality in the city.

According to a statement by Anthony Ogunleye, chief press secretary to FCT Minister, all street demonstrations, protests, and processions will not be allowed anywhere within its environs henceforth.

He said the security committee is satisfied with the directive by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad {ARS} as well as other reforms aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the Nigerian Police.

He added that despite the pronouncement by the IGP scrapping the unit, the #EndSARS protests continued in parts of the FCT, causing inconveniences to law-abiding citizens.

“The security committee has reiterated the commitment of the FCT administration to ensure that all residents are safe, secure, and able to go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation or harassment”.

The #EndSARS campaigners have not reacted.

Abuja in recent times has recorded very low number of COVID-19 infections.

According to NCDC figures, Abuja logged nine cases on Wednesday and 17 on Tuesday.

On Monday, the number of confirmed cases was 26.

The statistically insignificant number does not certainly indicate a resurgence of COVID-19 in the city.

The aim is stop #ENDSARS campaign.

The Full Statement announcing street protests:

The FCT Security Committee met for its routine meeting on Tuesday October 13, 2020, to review the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory with a view to addressing identified challenges.

2. The meeting which was chaired by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello had in attendance, the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, heads of the various security agencies and military formations in the FCT, senior members of staff of the FCTA, representatives of religious and traditional institutions as well as Area Council Chairmen.

After extensive deliberations, the Committee came up with the following resolutions:

i. The Committee noted with satisfaction the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Inspector-General of Police to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad {SARS} as well as other reforms aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the Nigerian police.

ii. It also noted that in response to the directive of the President and the yearnings of the Nigerian people, the Inspector General of Police has dissolved the SARS across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed.

iii. However, the Committee noted with concern that despite the pronouncement by the Inspector General of Police scrapping the FSARS, the #ENDSARS protests continued in parts of the Territory. The protesters caused inconveniences to law-abiding citizens.

iv. While the Committee recognizes the rights of citizens as regards freedom of association and movement as enshrined in the constitution, it has observed that the unruly conduct of the crowd and manner of demonstrations are in complete violation of the COVID-19 safety protocols which were put in place to safeguard the lives of citizens.

v. These violations endanger the lives of not just the demonstrators, but also other citizens going about their legitimate concerns.

vi. For the avoidance of doubt, the COVID-19 guidelines regulating public gatherings recommend physical distancing, temperature checks, the use of facial coverings, amongst others.

vii. Clearly all these guidelines were flouted by the protesters.

viii. Consequently, the Committee directs that due to the dangers posed by COVID-19, all street demonstrations, protests and processions will not be allowed anywhere within the FCT.

ix. The Committee also noted the progress being made in the fight against robberies in illegal and unregistered, commercial motor vehicles known as “one chance” and is committed to the introduction of innovative measures that will ensure the safety of commuters.

x. It however advises commuters to continue to exercise caution and remain vigilant while boarding commercial vehicles.

xi. With the advent of the “Ember” months, the Committee reiterates its commitment to ensuring the safety of road users across the FCT in accordance with existing guidelines by relevant agencies.

xii. It however seeks the cooperation of residents to obey all extant traffic rules and regulations while travelling during this period.

xiii. The Committee also noted with satisfaction the successful re-opening of schools after the forced closure due to COVID-19. It however calls on parents, students and school authorities to continue to comply with the extant COVID-19 safety protocols.

xiv. The Security Committee reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to ensure that all residents are safe, secure and able to go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation or harassment.

Published in Headliners

By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja; Bisi Olaniyi, Edo; Evelyn Osagie and Elo Edremoda, Warri/ THE NATION

President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and other eminent Nigerians have paid tributes to literary icon, Emeritus Prof. John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo, who died in the early hours on Tuesday. He was 86.

The renowned poet and playwright was born on December 3, 1933, in Kiagbodo, Delta State.

The family, in a statement, said: “The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that emeritus professor of literature and renowned writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October 2020.

“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and siblings, around him.

“The family appreciates your prayers at this time. Other details will be announced later by the family.”

The late writer is widely-acclaimed for his plays and poetry on traditional Ijaw myths and legends. He also wrote essays on African poetry.

President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the death of the literary icon would leave a huge vacuum in the literary world.

The statement reads: “On behalf of the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari extends the deepest condolence to the Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family on the passing of renowned writer and Emeritus Professor of Literature, Prof. John Pepper Clark.

“President Buhari pays tribute to one of Nigeria’s finest poets, dramatist and recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence, whose repertoire of published works depicts the hard work of a great man, devoted to a lifetime of writing, knowledge and promotion of the indigenous culture of the Ijaw nation.

“Acknowledging that Prof. J.P. Clark’s exit has, indeed, left an indelible mark in the literary world, President Buhari takes solace that his body of literary works, which earned him recognition and respect both at home and abroad, would continue to inspire upcoming Nigerian writers to pursue literary excellence and flourish in their chosen vocation.

“The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of the departed patriot, the government and people of Delta State and the literary community in the country.

“He prays for the peaceful repose of the soul departed.”

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has commiserated with the family.

He described Clark as “a great academic, celebrated poet”.

“His literary exploits brought honour and great respect to Nigeria and his contributions to literature and education, in general, will outlive many generations,” the governor said.

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has also mourned the passing on of the late writer, calling him as “a literary “colossus”.

“As we all mourn the transition of this great African to eternal life, our heartfelt condolences go to his dear family and our dear Papa, Chief Edwin Clark.

“Forever, the world shall recall the intellectual stature and contributions of Prof Emeritus John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo,” he said.

Celebrated Playwright Prof. Femi Osofisan also mourned the late poet.

He said: “He had a complex personality. He was an embodiment of contradictions in his personality, but what interests us is his talent as a poet and writer and conscience of society.

“He wasn’t a protest poet, but was very political in his writing. He was very concerned about the issues that pertain to society.

“We are going to miss him. I would personally miss him because he is my friend and mentor.”

Published in Headliners

By Kazeem Ugbodaga/ PM NEWS

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, on Wednesday debriefed the operatives of the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS; Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Anti Cultism Squad and Raider in Lagos State at the Command’s Headquarters, Ikeja.

The debriefing was in compliance with the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to disband and ground the activities of the teams in the state; and that their operations, investigations and pending cases be handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, with immediate effect.

The police boss seized the opportunity to inform them officially of the formation of the new Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) to tackle armed robbery, kidnapping, violent and other weapon-related crimes in the country, which is applicable to Lagos State.

Odumosu

He warned them to desist from parading themselves as SARS operatives or any operatives under whatever nomenclature in the state, and that all their cases and operational uniforms/wears or attires be handed over to State CID, Panti, while their satellite offices across the state be taken over and occupied by the nearest Divisional Police Headquarters in the areas respectively.

The Commissioner of Police, however, appealed to the general public to inform and report to the command of any activities or misconduct of any police personnel claiming to be SARS operative in the state or venturing into opening or investigating cases under the SARS or any of the disbanded tactical teams in Lagos State.

In the same vein, he further appealed to protesters to be law-abiding, maintain peace and respect the rights and opinions of other Lagosians and by extension, Nigerians, in the state; emphasising that the blockage of access roads to other Nigerians was unnecessary.

Published in Headliners

Nollywood actress Nsikan Isaac has shared a family anguish she has borne for two decades, losing her father and senior brother to police brutality.

In a story on Instagram, part of which she also told on her Instastory, Nsikan recalled how her father was gunned down by police in Uyo, 22 years ago.

She also recalled how her elder brother was killed by police in front of the family house 20 years later.

“22 years ago I lost my dad to a stray bullet from a police officer. 20 years later Ilost my elder brother to a gunshot in front of my parents house from the police too..”

If any one ever wonders why the beautiful actress has been carrying #EndSARS placards, she offered the justification.

“I HAVE PERSONALLY FELT THE PAIN! IT HAS BEEN THERE FOR MANY MANY YEARS.
IT HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE, I HAVE HAD MY SILENT CRIES AND I HAVE PICKED MYSELF BACK UP… IT TOOK A WHILE BUT THANK GOD THE REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN”

“I am lending my voice because I have faced the pain of losing loved ones to the so-called people who are meant to protect us”.

In her Instastory, Nsikan recalled how her father was killed: One day he was coming from work and they gunned him down in the cold streets of Uyo and called it a mistake…22 years later, there is no one to call father on earth except ABBA. Thank God he has not shamed me!”

The actress shared fond memories of her father and the pains of losing him:

“You know ‘the girl dad thing”, that’s the memory I had of my papa…daddy always rushed home because he wanted to see his ‘nightingale’ as he used to call me sing, dance or perform for him.

“We had an unbreakable bond until the Nigerian police gunned him down out of carelessness and murdered my brother in cold blood with little or no trial for whatever the case was”.

Published in News & Stories

By Tajudeen Adebanjo; Gbenga Omokhunu and Nicholas Kalu, Abuja/ THE NATION

  • Policeman, man killed in Lagos
  • Buhari promises‘extensive reform’
  • ‘Why protest may continue’

Protesters campaigning against the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) excesses on Monday grounded Lagos, Abuja and some major cities across the country.

The protest turned violent in Lagos where two people, including a police Inspector were killed.

Economic activities in the nation’s commercial capital were halted as protesters in clusters, moved around the state and stalled traffic along the major roads for many hours.

The entry point to Lagos from Ibadan was held up by the protesters in the afternoon.

Lekki highway was blocked from morning, preventing people from going to work. The Murtala Muhammed Airport Road and others also shut down.

In Surulere, where the killings took place, businesses quickly shut down with people scampering to safety.

Many Lagosians were stranded in traffic for hours. Many others could not reach their destination.

There were protests, in Abia, Delta and Ebonyi states and many other places.

The protest, which started almost two week ago, culminated in the announcement of the disbanment of the SARS by Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu on Sunday.

IGP Adamu said a new policing arrangement to replace the now-defunct police unit would be announced in due course.

He redeployed with immediate effect, all officers and men of the SARS unit.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari said the scrapping of the SARS will be followed by a massive reform of the police.

But these pronouncements could not stop the protesters who staged rallies in Ikeja, Lekki and other areas in Lagos.

He alleged that the protesters, at about 1 pm, laid siege on the Anti-Kidnapping Unit Office of the command, broke into the cell and freed two of the kidnap suspects, before they were repelled.

“In addition, the protesters fired and killed one Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, 55, a driver of one Toyota Sienna Bus, marked LSD 296 FX, who got stuck in the traffic caused by the blockage of the road by the violent protesters, in Surulere.

“It is pertinent to state that the attacked police inspectors and Mr Ilohamauzu were hit and injured by pellets reasonably fired from pump actions/locally-made guns.

“The bodies of the deceased have been deposited in a mortuary for autopsy,” he said.

Adejobi said four suspects were arrested in connection with the incident.

There were reports that more persons were arrested and detained at Area C police station, with many urging the governor to ensure they are freed.

But in his account of what transpired, Commissioner for Information and Strategy Gbenga Omotoso, said no protester died in Lagos on Monday.

He said in a statement: “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to reports that an #ENDSARS protester has been killed in Surulere. This is not true.

“A group of hoodlums stormed the Anti-Kidnapping Unit at Hogan Bassey Street, Surulere, to free two suspects standing trial for alleged kidnapping. They shot three officers.

“One of them, Inspector Erinfolami Ayodeji, unfortunately, died. The others are Inspectors Ekein Joshua and Peter Agabi.

“The hoodlums, while escaping, fired into the air. A bystander was hit. He also died – sadly.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu commiserates with the families who lost their loved ones and prays that God will strengthen them.

“He urges all those concerned to ensure that these protests do not degenerate further and create room for hoodlums who do not mean well for our society.

“The government is working with the Police to ensure the restoration of the peace that Lagos has always been proud of.”

According to some of the protesters, the government is not sincere with the ban on SARS.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu assured the protesters that there will be no further police brutality in the state.

Addressing thousands of youths at the Lekki Tollgate who sang ‘SARS must go’, the governor called for respect for other residents.

He said their voices had been heard and that he would take their demands to the President today at a meeting with him at Aso Villa

Conceding that the protest was legitimate, he pleaded with them not to block the roads while ventilating their grievances.

Sanwo-Olu said he identified with the EndSARS campaigners, noting that their agitation touched the essence of democratic freedom.

He said citizens must never be denied the rights to protest, but urged the protesters not to employ wrong methods to drive home their message.

In a tweet, the governor added: “I want to appeal to the protesters to take a break from protesting tomorrow (today). Tempers are at a highest on all sides at this time and while we work to prevent escalation, the safety of our residents is paramount.”

Police inspector Erinfolami Ayodeji attached to Surulere Anti-kidnapping Unitwas killed during the protest while two other inspectors were critically injured

Lagos State Police Spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said while Inspector Ekei Joshua and Inspector Peter Agabi were receiving treatment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja.

He said: “The protesters came in their numbers with the intent to break into the station at our Surulere unit and free some of the convicted criminals.

“They were heavily armed with shot guns and fired shots at the officers on duty who were trying to prevent the attack and uphold the integrity of the station.”

Adejobi said Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu would continue to maintain law and order in spite of the unrest created by various protesting groups.

“Odumosu has called on all police officers to exhibit professionalism and continue to maintain law and order in spite of the ongoing public agitation towards the police.

“The protest has been hijacked by criminals who have taken advantage of the situation to breach the peace in the society.

“The Inspector General of Police just disbanded the SARS on Sunday, so the attack on the station was uncalled for,” Adejobi said.

In Abuja the protesters most of who wore black T-shirts rallied at the Berger Bridge, Wuse. They blocked the road while chanting: ‘End police brutality now.’

The blockage of the road led to a long queue of vehicles on major roads.

This paralysed vehicular traffic in the area as motorists made U-turn to avoid getting caught up in the resultant gridlock.

Commuters avoided the axis due to the protests.

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf, said she was not aware of the incident.

The Lagos protesters barred motorists and commuters from passing through Lekki Toll Gate on Lagos-Epe expressway.

This led to several hours of gridlock as commuters and motorists on their way to work were on standstill while others returned home.

The protesters demanded that the police authorities “carry out psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they are redeployed.”

They also demanded the “release of all arrested protesters, justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.”

They asked for “increased salaries for police officers as well as establishment of an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of police misconduct within 10 days.”

One of the protesters, who pleaded anonymity, told The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the protesters were “demanding more than a mere disbandment of SARS but the immediate prosecution of officers found guilty of unprofessional conduct.

“The IG only made an announcement but we want President Muhammadu Buhari to also give an executive order on this. We don’t want audio ban,” another protester said.

A protester, who works as a studio editor, Abiodun Olawale, said the people were angry because the government had been paying only lip service to police reforms.

“This is the fourth time we are clamouring for the end of SARS and we will not relent until something is done.

“Even the report of the last panel to reform the police is yet to be implemented, how can we believe the IG now,” he said.

A resident of Ajah, Justine Emejom, said he drove out of his house as early as 5 a.m. on his way to office on Lagos Island but he had to turn back after over six hours of gridlock and frustration.

“Despite efforts to manoeuvre through inner routes, following total standstill caused by the protesters, I had to drive back after I called my office to explain,” he said.

Some Lagos-based artistes at the Lekki protests are DJ EniMoney, Ex housemate Omatshola of Big Brother Naija, Dancer Poco lee, Charles Okpocha, among others.

Popular actors, Yomi Fabiyi, Adeniyi Johnson, Shoneye Olamilekan, Lala Dapo, Funke Etti, and Seyi Edun also joined the protest at Ikeja.

Bearing banners that read, “Nollywood is saying: #justiceforJimohIshaq and others, #Endtotureinstations, #Endpolicebrutality and #ThankyouforendingSARS,” the actors said the police force needs a reform.

Published in News & Stories

Governor of Rivers Nyesom Wike has banned the planned #EndSARS protest billed to be staged in Port Harcourt tomorrow.

In a statement Monday night, by Paulinus Nsirim, information commissioner,
Wike announced that his government has banned all forms of protests throughout the State.

“Therefore, all proposed protests under #EndSars Campaign are hereby prohibited.

“Government took this decision because the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

“Therefore, there is no need for any form of protest against a Unit of the Police Force that no longer exists.

“Parents and Guardians are therefore advised to ensure that their children or wards do not violate this order.

“Law enforcement agencies are also directed to ensure that the ban is enforced and that violators are brought to book”.

Published in Headliners
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