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Govt Vows To Crush Fresh Lekki Tollgate Protest

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Why We Can't Accept Lagos EndSARS Panel's Report - Govt

Still pained by the destruction caused by the EndSARS andL Lekki Tollgate protests last October, the Federal Government today vowed never to allow their reoccurrence.

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed stated the position of the government in Abuja against the backdrop of another protest billed for next Saturday at the Lekki Tollgate.
At a press conference, Mohammed said as follows: “Good morning gentlemen and thank you for honouring our invitation once again.

“As you may be aware, some EndSars proponents have given notice of their plan to return to Lagos – Lekki Toll Gate to be specific – on Saturday, February 13th 2021. The ”Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” flyers have been circulating online, with the proponents threatening that ”Lagos will burn” again.

“Let me be clear: While peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, violent protests are not. At this time, the chances that any peaceful protest will be hijacked are very high. Based on the intelligence at the disposal of the Federal Government, some Nigerian activists have linked up with others outside Nigeria, including subversive elements, with a view to destabilizing the country. We cannot and must not allow this to happen.

“Never again will the Federal Government allow the kind of violence that was perpetrated across the country under the guise of the EndSars last October. Never again will anyone or group be allowed to destroy cities or to kill and maim innocent citizens, including security agents, under any guise.

“The EndSars campaign last October started as a peaceful protest against police brutality. As a government that believes in the constitutionally-guaranteed right of citizens to engage in peaceful protests, the Federal Government did nothing to hinder the protests for as long as they remained peaceful. Not only that, the Federal Government moved swiftly to accede to the five-point demands by the EndSars campaigners which are:
i) Immediate release of all arrested protesters.
ii) Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
iii) Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct within 10 days.
iv) In line with the new Police Act, psychological evaluation and retraining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
v) And increase police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting the lives and property of citizens.
READ ALSO: Senate To Grill CBN Governor, SEC Chief Over Crypto Ban
“Unfortunately, despite the acceptance of the demands, the protesters misread the Federal Government’s respect for the rule of law and defiantly continued to demonstrate and occupy a public facility, even after a curfew was declared by the Lagos State Government. This led to a series of actions that culminated in the hijacking of the protests by hoodlums, who perpetrated unimaginable violence in Lagos and other cities across the country.

“The trillion-Naira destruction of Lagos, in particular, remains too fresh a wound. Hundreds, including the youth, lost their livelihoods to the wanton attacks in Lagos. The burnt wreckage of public buses that were wantonly set ablaze by rampaging hoodlums remain in their positions as a sad and gory reminder of the unprecedented attacks. The city is still reeling from the war-like destruction.

“For those who are using justice as an alibi for another round of destruction, let me say this: As we speak, the Judicial Panels of Inquiry, set up across the country to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings, with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units, are continuing with the assignments. In Lagos, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry has an added responsibility of investigating the incident of October 20th at the Lekki Toll Gate.

“Like we have said many times, anyone who has any information on the alleged shooting or purported massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate, including the names and addresses of those who were purportedly killed, should head to the Panel to give it such information. This is how to enhance the search for justice, not by rabble rousing or engaging in media shows.

“However, any further resort to violence in the name of EndSars will not be tolerated this time. The security agents are ready for any eventuality. A situation in which six soldiers and 37 policemen were murdered in cold blood by hoodlums will not repeat itself. The attack, looting and razing of 269 private and public property will not happen again. The killing of 57 civilians will not be re-enacted.

“We therefore strongly warn those who are planning to re-occupy Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday to desist. We know that many of those who have been loudest on social media in advertising the plan to reconvene in Lagos on Saturday are not even in Nigeria. They are elsewhere around the world fanning the embers of violence and inciting gullible people back home. No one should fall for their antics.

“No government anywhere will allow a repeat of the kind of destruction, killing and maiming wrought by the hijackers of EndSars protests last year. After all, only one policeman – (plus four others) – was killed in the invasion of the US Capitol in January, yet the FBI has continued to hunt down and prosecute the perpetrators. No life is more important than the other.

“The Federal Government is also keenly watching the role being played by the various social media platforms in this renewed clamour for violence in the country. Recall that the social media platforms that eagerly nudged on the EndSars protesters, until the situation got out of hand, are the same ones that quickly pulled the plug on even their own President when the chips were down in their own country. I hope we have all learnt our lessons. If we allow them to destroy our country, we will bear the brunt.

“Gentlemen, I thank you for your kind attention. I will now take your questions on the issues that I have just addressed.”

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Two Catholic priests Kidnapped In Edo

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Two Catholic priests Kidnapped In Edo

The abduction of two Catholic priests, Rev. Father Udo of St, Patrick Catholic church Uromi and Rev. Father Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center Ugboha, was confirmed on Sunday by Edo State Police Command.

The priests were abducted along the Benin-Auchi Road on their way back to Uromi in Esan South-East Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer of the state, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the abduction of the reverend fathers.

The statement read: “This is to confirm the kidnap of two Catholic Rev. Fathers; Rev. Fr. Udo Peter of St. Patrick Catholic Church Uromi and Rev. Fr. Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center, Ugboha in Esan South East LGA of Edo State.

READ ALSO: Kukah’s Diocese Under Attack, Two Priests, Worshippers Kidnapped

“The Edo State Police Command was informed of the incident by the Divisional Police Officer, Ugboha, Edo State, that on Sunday, July 3, 2022, one Rev. Father Amos Abhulimen of St. Dominic Catholic Church Ugboha, reported that he was informed by the Catholic authority via WhatsApp that the above-named Catholic Rev. Fathers were attacked, kidnapped and taken to unknown place by some kidnappers along Benin-Auchi Expressway between Ehor and Iruekpen Communities.

“Immediately, the Commissioner Of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, dispatched policemen to the area to carry out aggressive and well coordinated manhunt in arresting the kidnappers as well as rescue the Rev. Fathers unhurt,” the statement added.

A Catholic priest popularly known as Rev. Father Christopher Odia was Kidnapped last Sunday at Ikabigbo Community, Etsako West LGA and was later found dead after few hours in the bush.

 

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Court Jails APC Senator Seven Years For Fraud

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Court Jails APC Senator Seven Years For Fraud

The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , has been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Friday also ordered that the senator’s two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

The court’s ruling was delivered in an appeal challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021, discharged and acquitted the defendants on two counts of fraud and money laundering. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which arraigned him however challenged the lower court’s decision.

EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.

 READ ALSO: Why Move To Impeach Senate President Will Fail – Nwaboshi

Part of the money paid to the vendor – N322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd – was alleged to be part of proceeds of fraud.

Earlier in his judgment, Justice Aneke said the evidence of the prosecutor “proved that the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from Zenith Bank to purchase additional equipment and as provision of working capital”.

“It also proved that the loan of N1.2 billion together with interest of N24 million was properly granted to the third defendant .Nothing else was proved by the complainant or prosecutor in this case,” the EFCC quoted the judge as saying in a statement.

The high court judge was also quoted as claiming that a fatal blow was dealt to the case of the prosecution by its failure to call officials of Sterling Bank “to testify and probably tender exhibits F and F10. Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendants”.

However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal on Friday, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents.

“The court said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged,” EFCC said.

 

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Drama In Court As Lawyer Appears In Priestly Attire

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VIDEO: Drama As Lawyer In Priestly Attire Appears In Court

By John Michael Ojo
There was a mild drama today at the Okpoko Magistrate Court in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, as a lawyer simply identified as Ogbachalu Goshen appeared before the court in a pastoral robe.

But Ogbachalu who was standing before the magistrate, CB Mbaegbu, was denied  hearing on the ground that he was not properly attired, leading to a minor incident in the court.

READ ALSO: Female Students Can Wear Hijab To Lagos Schools – Supreme Court

However,  citing a recent Supreme Court’s judgment which supported the wearing of hijab by female students in public schools as a reference point, Ogbachalu reminded the court that it was his right to dress in his priestly attire as he was an ordained pastor and that the objection by the court to hear him, was an infringement on his fundamental human right as enshrined in section 38 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The magistrate however disagreed his submission which only forced the court to dismiss.

 

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