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US report on Lekki shootings is misleading – Femi Falana

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A Lagos state constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has faulted a report by the US Department of State on Lekki shootings.

Recall that the US report released on Tuesday had claimed that there was no accurate information on the Lekki shootings that happened on October 20, 2020.

The report also claimed that though soldiers fired live ammunition “to disperse” #EndSARS protesters, there is no verifiable report on the number of fatalities.

Reacting, Falana said the US report on Lekki toll plaza incident is “contradictory and misleading”.

The lawyer also described the report as prejudicial, saying that a panel of enquiry had been set up by the Lagos State Government into the matter.

The full statement reads:

The report has attempted to cover up the brutal killings at Lekki and other parts of Lagos from October 20-27, 2020. It is a very contradictory report. On the one hand the report claimed that the members of the security forces were enforcing curfew by firing into the air to disperse protesters at the toll gate. On the other hand the report stated that some protesters had turned violent after criminal elements infiltrated them and so the security forces forces fired protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate. The report did not mention the detachment of the Nigerian army which perpetrated the mayhem. Do soldiers shoot into the air to enforce curfew in the United States?

The media should stop treating our people like colonial subjects by celebrating a foreign report that is subversive of the rule of law in Nigeria. How can the United States Government be allowed to treat the proceedings before a properly constituted Judicial Panel of Inquiry so contemptuously? The report is prejudicial in every material particular. It should be ignored by the Judicial Panel as it is designed to preempt the evidence being adduced by the survivors of the barbaric attack. The report did not acknowledge that the Nigerian army which initially denied that soldiers were present at the Lekki toll gate later turned round to admit that they were there but fired only bland bullets. The Americans should update the report by explaining how casualties and amputees were recorded when the soldiers only shot into the air.

Fortunately, more credible reports on the Lekki killings compiled by the progressive media outfits in Nigeria including The Punch, The News, Sahara reporters and Premium Times have been published. To their credit, these media bodies have published detailed stories on the killings. Apart from the confirmation of the cold murder of two people by Governor Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos State a senior surgeon from the Redington hospital has given evidence of the protesters that were treated for gun shot wounds. Is the United States Government not aware of the fact that some amputees who lost their legs as a result of the shooting have appeared before the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry?

Following the dumping of scores of corpses from October 20-27, 2020 did the Lagos State Government not invite people whose family members were missing to identify the corpses at the Lagos State mortuaries? Did the Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond ASCAB not disclose that there were 98 corpses dumped in the mortuaries? From the information at my disposal, three of those corpses have been traced to Lekki. I also know a lady who disclosed that her adopted son died of gunshots at Lekki toll gate. My law firm has taken up the case of a 28-year old lady who collapsed at Lekki with head injury and later died at a hospital in Lagos. The names of the casualties and amputees will be revealed at the appropriate time. Even President Buhari told the meeting of former leaders that 69 people including 51 civilians, 11 police officers and 7 soldiers had been killed in the unrest. The President did not say if the figures included the protesters allegedly killed by Nigerian army in Lagos. Did the United States report probe the breakdown of the official figures? So, why should I rely on the very unreliable report compiled in Washington on the genocidal attacks on unarmed protesters by soldiers from the Barracks who were illegally deployed by the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai?

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Oyetola To Aregbesola: We’re Proud Of You, You Performed Well As Gov, You’re Doing Well As Minister; Those Calling For Nigeria Break-up Ignorant, Says Aregbe 

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The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola has stated that the state is proud of its former Governor and Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. 

 

Oyetola spoke in Ilesa on Saturday, 5 June, 2021 at an event marking the 64th birthday celebration of the Minister.

 

He noted that the former Governor of the state performed very well while ruling the state and still performing as the Minister Of Interior.

 

Oyetola who was represented at the event by the state Commissioner for Political Affairs and Inter-governmental Relations, Mr Taiwo Akeju, said: “You performed very well in the State of Osun and you are performing well as the Minister of Interior. We are very proud of you.”

 

The events celebrating the 64th birthday of the Minister included the presentation of a book titled “The Rauf I Know “, written by a journalist, Mr Dayo Olanipekun. Mr Olanipekun covered him as state house correspondent for the Broadcasting Corporation of Osun State (OSBC) in his two terms as governor.

 

Speaking later, Ogbeni Aregbesola warned that it would take 50 years for Nigeria to recover from another civil war.

 

He therfore warned Nigerians to desist from any act capable of threatening Nigeria’s unity, describing those calling for the separation of the country as ignorant.

 

Ogbeni Aregbesola said: “Those calling for Nigeria’s break-up are ignorant. Every Nigerian should work for Nigeria’s unity and development.

 

“It will take Nigeria 50 years to recover from civil war. Whoever likes women and children should not support, but rather condemn any call of separation and conduct capable of threatening Nigeria’s unity.

 

“Nigeria is a country created by God for us and for the black race.

 

“I am not saying everything that is happening in Nigeria is good. We should treat the problems and challenges facing Nigerians, not calling for her break-up. Decapitation is not the antidote for headache”.

 

Aregbesola also declared support for a new caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC), The Osun Progressives (TOP), saying that he is in support of any move to consolidate progressives legacies in the State of Osun, strengthen the party from the polling units, wards and local government levels and strengthen internal democracy in the party, which are clearly stated in the objectives and mission of TOP.

 

In his address, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, said that Aregbesola’s legacy in the development of the State will forever linger in the sands of time.

 

The Ooni of Ife who spoke via Zoom noted that the State of Osun and its people cannot forget Aregbesola as his achievements are beyond what anyone can rubbish.

 

“We will forever remember him. Your work will never cease to reflect in the sands of time. It is during his tenure that landmark achievements occurred in Osun which we cannot forget.

 

“We can never forget you. Your achievements are beyond what anyone can rubbish. We are proud of you and what you represent.”

 

The Registrar of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who delivered a lecture titled “Power is responsibility” at the event, urged Nigerian political leaders to be responsible with power.

 

Oloyede who was represented by Dr Wahab Oyedokun, tasked politicians to operate with ideology that address people’s yearnings.

 

Speaking at the event, Chief Mrs Tokunbo-Awolowo Dosumu, daughter of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, said Aregbesola is among the few Nigerian politicians that identify with and promote Awolowo’s legacy.

According to Dosumu, Aregbesola has always been committed to all the activities of Awolowo Foundation, describing him as an exemplary leader.

 

Politicians, traditional rulers, trade union groups and people from all walks of life from the state and across the country graced the occasion, while others spoke via zoom.

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UPDATED: NECO Registrar died of heart failure, not assassinated – says Official

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The Registrar of National Examinations Council (NECO), Prof. Godswill Obioma has been confirmed dead.

The late NECO Registrar reportedly died on Monday night in his sleep in his Minna residence.

The Director, Human resources of the examination body, Abdul Mustapha confirmed the death of the NECO boss, he dismissed viral media reports that Prof. Godswill Obioma was assassinated, says he died in his sleep as a result of heart failure.

Mr. Mustapha disclosed communication from Obioma’s second son, Prince Godswill Obioma, informing him of the death of his father thus:

“Mustapha K. Abdul (Director Human Resource Management, NECO),

“Dear Sir, this is to formally inform you that my father, Prof. Godswill Obioma, the Registrar/Chief Executive of NECO passed to eternal glory yesterday 31/5/2021 after a brief illness.

“We request that you kindly notify the Board, Management and the entire staff of the Council of this development.

“We shall keep you duly informed.

“Prince Godswill Obioma the 2nd, for the family.”

The release of the conversation between the deceased son and Mustapha contradicted some reports in some online and social media platforms alleging that the NECO boss was assassinated in his Minna residence by some unknown gunmen.

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INSECURITY: Arewa Consultative Forum directs Northerners to boycott Southeast

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The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has directed Northerners to boycott traveling to Southeast as a result of the level of insecurity in the region.

The warning under the guise of a statement was issued by the National Chairman of ACF, Audu Ogbe, on Monday, May 31. He expressed concern over increasing attacks and killings of northern residents in the southeast or those visiting the zone. He said the travel advisory was issued while taking into cognizance the killings of northern leaders in 1966, which he said triggered the events that led to the civil war.

“ACF issues a very strong advisory to all northerners who may wish to travel to the southeast. Northerners should weigh the importance and necessity of such travels. Unless such trips are absolutely necessary and of compelling nature, like matters of life and death, they should not be made.”the statement in part read

The travel advisory comes barely 24 hours after former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak, was murdered by IPOB members in Imo state.

 

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