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Amnesty International Fell For Social Media Exaggeration, Fake News In Writing Lekki Shootings’ Report – CISS Investigation Reveals

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A special report has revealed that Amnesty International succumbed to social media exaggeration and fake news in its report on the Lekki toll gate shootings in Lagos State.

The Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS) said it arrived at this conclusion after a systematic analysis of the events that led to the escalation of violence in the aftermath of the deployment of troops.

In its report signed by Special Rapporteur, Prof Peter Maidoki, the CISS said Amnesty International was hasty in its conclusion and failed to do a thorough job.

It also rubbished the claim as regards the time soldiers arrived at the toll gate, noting that AI relied on the bulk of the misinformation passed around in the social media space.

Contrary to Amnesty’s report, the centre noted that soldiers at the venue of the protest fired shots in the air to disperse the protesters and not directly at the crowd.

The CISS, though, accepted in its report that protesters may have suffered injuries during the pandemonium that ensued.

From videos scrutinized as well as information gathered from various stakeholders, the centre said the report of soldiers loading dead bodies into their truck is false.

While acknowledging that there may be a desperate campaign to discredit the military, the CISS said Amnesty’s deep-rooted contempt for the Nigerian Army is well-known.

The centre, however, urged relevant authorities in the country to begin the process of profiling those individuals and groups whose actions contributed to the escalation of the conflict.

It also advised the Federal Government to continually engage the citizens on the danger of a single narrative on issues of national concern.

Read full report below:

Introduction:

The Centre for International and Strategic Studies undertook a systematic analysis of the events that led to the escalation of violence in the aftermath of the deployment of soldiers to the Lekki Tollgate where EndSARS protesters were gathered.

The objective of the systematic analysis was to put issues in proper perspective for the generality of Nigerians who are fed continuously with various and varying narratives by some groups and associations.

This interim report consequently x-rayed the various factors that led to the skirmish in a most objective manner devoid of any form of bias in its conclusion. This is also on the heels that the Centre for International and Strategic Studies has built a strong reputation over the years in its interventions and contributions to the national discourse in Nigeria.

Key Issues:

The critical issues in the incident in Lagos have been centred on the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the Lekki EndSARS protest where it was alleged that soldiers fired gunshots in a crowd of peaceful protesters armed only with the national flag. It was also alleged that over 78 persons were killed as a result of gunshots injuries sustained.

Human Rights organization, Amnesty International in its report on the incident stated that footage collated showed how “at approximately 6.45 pm, the Nigerian military opened fire on the #EndSARS protesters who were peacefully calling for an end to police brutality”.

Amnesty International also alleged that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki toll gate, where #EndSARS protesters had been camped for two weeks, were removed by government officials and the electricity was cut – an apparent attempt to hide evidence.

It also stated that some of those killed and injured at both grounds were allegedly taken away by the military.

Our findings:

The Centre for International and Strategic Studies given the gravity of the allegations levelled against the Nigerian Army, and the need to ensure that the extent of the Army’s involvement in the conflict is determined engaged some critical stakeholders in Lagos state, as well as other individuals and groups that witnessed the incident on the spot.

From pour interactions and analysis, there seem to be a non-correlation with the figures presented by Amnesty International and that of other stakeholders. It is our considered view that Amnesty International was hasty in its conclusion with regards to the number of deaths recorded at the Lekki Tollgate incident.

The claim made with regards the time soldiers arrived at the Lekki Tollgate were also inaccurate as it was realized that Amnesty International relied on the bulk of the misinformation passed around in the social media space in arriving at its conclusion.

It must be stated that there is a possibility that Amnesty International was caught up with the exaggerations in the social media space and didn’t do due diligence with information at their disposal before going to press in its narration of the events that transpired at the Lekki Tollgate.

Amnesty International from our findings indeed contributed immensely to the bulk of the misinformation that made the round with regards to the actual number of casualties recorded at the Lekki Tollgate.

The Centre for International and Strategic Studies also realized that the position of Amnesty International couldn’t be substantiated due to lack of facts. From the video recordings analyzed, soldiers at the venue of the protest indeed fired shots. But not into the crowd as alleged by Amnesty International and other individuals and groups.

There was also no record of soldiers loading dead bodies into their truck as alleged. All the videos scrutinized as well as information gathered from various stakeholders, it was realized that the allegation is false and meant to disparage the efforts of the Nigerian Army.

Our findings also indicated that the soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate shot in the air in an attempt to disperse the crowd and that led to pandemonium amongst the protesters resulting in injuries of various magnitudes.

This fact was indeed corroborated by multiple sources, including some of those present at the venue of the shootings. It was established that the soldiers didn’t fire shots into the crowd as alleged and if that was the case, the whole place would have been littered with dead bodies.

Our Position:

The position of the Centre for International and Strategic Studies after due consultation and interrogation of issues takes the position that there is a subtle campaign to discredit the Nigerian Army in its involvement in internal security operations.

This position is hinged on the fact that lots of misinformation made the rounds accusing the Nigerian Army of crimes against humanity, whereas it was the intervention of the Nigerian Army that indeed saved the day.

Conclusion:

In the concluding analysis, it suffices to state that Amnesty International through its actions with regards to the EndSARS protest indeed harbours a deep-rooted contempt for the Nigerian Army. This was evident in the way and the manner it castigated the efforts of the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in the country.

Amnesty International and other organizations disregarded the negative effect of their actions in the polity. Consequently, they made allegations against the Nigerian Army that from all indications cannot be substantiated.

It consequently might not be out of place if indeed Amnesty International has an ulterior motive aimed at discrediting the Nigerian Army hence it’s narrative on the Lekki Tollgate incident, which from all available facts lacked objectivity, but laced with half-truths and illogical conclusions.

Recommendations:

The Centre for International and Strategic Studies as a result of the findings in this interim report wishes to make the following recommendations:

That the Nigerian Army authorities should begin the process of disabusing the minds of Nigerians that might have believed that shots were fired into the crowd of peaceful protesters.

That the relevant authorities in Nigeria should begin the process of profiling those individuals and groups whose actions contributed to the escalation of the conflict to bring them to face the full wrath of the law for spreading fake news and heating the polity unnecessarily.

That the government must continually engage the citizens on the danger of a single narrative on issues of national concern.

That the leadership of the Nigerian Army should continually train its personnel on internal security operations with regards to the rules of engagement.

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#EndSARS: Don’t Subvert Truth Before Lagos Panel, Group Warns Lagos Govt, Amnesty International

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The Lagos state government and Amnesty International, AI, have been warned to allow the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to probe the allegation of brutality against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos state to work without any form of interference.

A civil society organisation, Advocates For Social Justice, at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, warned the Lagos government and the rights group against subversion of truth before the commission.

Mr. Agwu Gabriel Esq., Executive Director of the group said it is alarmed that a delegation from Lagos State Government is in London for a meeting with Amnesty International to exonerate Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, on the deployment of the military to manage the #EndSARS protest at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

The group alleged that Amnesty International is at the forefront of the campaign of calumny being waged against the Nigerian military .

The Executive Director said, ”The #EndSARS protests turned violent on the strength of its engineered interventions and campaign of fake news in which it triggered the misplaced outrage about a massacre that never happened.

”To have a sense of how badly Amnesty International lied against Nigeria and its military, Cable News Network (CNN) has walked back its claim of 38 fatalities from the Lekki Toll Gate incident because its report was based on the lies told by the NGO. Nigerians had risen up against the lies prompting the network to recant its flawed reporting.

”Amnesty International lies had been exposed long before CNN was forced to make a volte face. When its Country Director, Osai Ojigho went on Arise TV to continue the offensive against Nigeria but could not provide evidence to support her organization’s claim that the military massacred protesters in Lekki. All she could provide was the lame quip that the military has a tradition of killing people and taking their corpses away, which is another lie that Amnesty International has replicated and elevated to the level of a myth”.

The group said Ojigho, representing her organization, went as far as riding the coattails of a proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to go testify against the Nigerian government and military in support of a terrorist organization.

On the proccedings before the Unitd Kingdom Parliament on the Lekki incident in Lagos, Mr. Gabriel described it as a rehash of the proceedings of the Canadian Parliamentary committee, which can best be described as a charade.

”Again, the UK Parliamentary show of shame was brokered by Amnesty International, which possibly still thinks that the Britain can resume being Nigeria’s colonial master if its staff lie enough about human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Nigerian Army or other security agencies.

”This and much more is public knowledge about Amnesty International and the poisonous branding it is carrying out on Nigeria. It is something that right thinking Nigerians have been clamouring to bring an end about. They see the NGO for the monster it is and they have not stopped drawing attention to the danger that this organization poses to the country.

”Unfortunately, Lagos state is neither reading the national mood correctly nor properly evaluating the facts before it. The people around Governor Sanwoolu are apparently still addicted to being inferior in the face of a foreign-based NGO that has the reputation of sowing discord and crisis around the world, one that has made it a permanent goal to bring Nigeria into ruins.

”Interestingly, one of the ways Amnesty International attempts to undermine Nigeria is by casting aspersions on the institutions of the country. It has persistently targeted the military and security establishments with this approach. It has equally added other institutions like the judiciary. Its latest target is logically the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry”, the group said.

The group called on the Lagos state government to immediately stops further interface, interaction and contact with Amnesty International in Nigeria, United Kingdom and in any other country of the world.

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Intersociety Clandestinely Running Terrorist Organisation in Nigeria – CESJET

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The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has raised an alarm over the existence, secret sponsorship and operation of a terrorist organisation in the southern part of the country. 

CESJET, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Ikpa Isaac, fingered supposed human rights group, InterSociety for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, to be behind the sect. 

The centre said it came to this conclusion after a thorough forensic investigation conducted by a team of experts. 

According to Comrade Ikpa, the group, in alliance with the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) aims to plunge Nigeria into a crisis and bloodshed potent enough to compromise national security.

With external sponsorship, CESJET said the new group has expanded unimaginably in the last few months, consistently recruiting new members. 

The centre added that the group was behind the violent bloodshed and arsons in Oyigbo in Rivers State which led to the killing of several soldiers. 

It, however, charged the police, the DSS and all other relevant security agencies to keep an eye on Intersociety operations and IPOB Code members in the South. 

The centre further urged Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to sustain his vigilance on the sect to protect lives and property. 

Read the full statement below:

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) deems it expedient to alert Nigerians and security agencies in the country on the existence, secret sponsorship and operation of a terrorist’s organization in the Southern part of the country, especially between the Abia and Rivers state axis by the InterSociety for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law.  

Albeit, whilst InterSociety operates under the banner and nomenclature of a human rights advocacy group. But on the contrary and in absolute discord with its publicized agenda, the group is an assemblage of persons supporting and promoting armed criminals, dubious elements, and questionable characters, which are actively plotting to cause anarchy and destabilize Nigeria.    

A detailed forensic investigation conducted by a team of experts from CESJET incredibly discovered InterSociety’s alleged secret links and connections with some aberrant groups in Nigeria. These are grouped in connivance with external forces have nursed the evergreen agenda to ginger its members to plunge Nigeria into an overwhelming crisis and bloodshed potent enough to compromise national security.

InterSociety allegedly has a strong bond with IPOB, the proscribed or outlawed terrorists’ organization formerly run by its escapee leader, Nnamdi Kanu. This group launched bloody secession campaigners, indulged in extra-judicial killings, acts of vandalism, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery and other violent crimes. It compelled the Southeast State Governments to proscribe it and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to declare it a terrorist’s organization. The decision was further rectified by a competent court.

But in an unexpected asinine twist, InterSociety has suspected and clandestinely revived, energized and armed members of the defunct IPOB. The sponsors of the resurgent IPOB have also slightly modified its name, which is now called “IPOB Code.”  The armed criminal gangs of the new group, IPOB Code are also predominantly found in Southeast states; but in the bid to divert attention, most of them have now migrated to Oyigbo community in Rivers state.    

CESJET obtained from reliable sources that the regrouped members under IPOB Code have stockpiled large caches of arms and ammunitions in Obigbo. And from this position of criminal strength, IPOB Code members intermittently harass, intimidate and threaten innocent and law-abiding citizens aimed at their forceful conversion into the sect to further boost their numerical strength. Many have been their victims.

And with consistent financing of the activities of IPOB Code by InterSociety, which is also supported with funds from external sponsors, the new group has expanded unimaginably in the last few months. Nonetheless, the recruitment drive and its obnoxious operations have intensified to a frightening level, compelling Rivers State Governor Nyemsom Wike to issue repeated public warnings against their criminal activities in the state.

In the last couple of months, IPOB Code armed gangs have consistently terrorized Obigbo residents by instigating and promoting deadly cult clashes. Many have lost their lives in the process and it has marked Oyigbo as the most deadly and hottest spot of cult clashes in Rivers state.  

Accordingly, when #EndSARS protests birthed and rocked some states in Nigeria, particularly in the Southern part of the country, the IPOB Code members seized the opportunity to exercise their murderous and terror instincts on people in the guise of protesting police brutality.

The armed criminal gangs, concealed by the #EndSARS demonstrations violently unleashed baffling bloodshed and arsons on people and public properties.  IPOB Code members gruesomely murdered scores of civilians, police officers; torched several police stations at different spots and also, horrifically killed six soldiers deployed to maintain public peace and security in the wake of the raging #EndSARS protests.

In a barbaric fashion, the masterminds videoed these murderous acts and celebratedly syndicated it on social media. Thereafter, InterSociety, which also serves as the intellectual and media arm of IPOB Code has launched determined and venomous propaganda against the Rivers State Governor and the Nigerian Army in the desperation to change the narrative in their favour.    

A desperate InterSociety in the bid to seek public attention have coined bogus claims and fabricated narratives. The IPOB Code sponsors are claiming soldiers in connivance with Gov. Wike have sponsored massacres and abductions in Oyigbo merely to attract public empathy and draw the attention of the international community as façade to cover-up the perpetrated evil and crimes.

But Gov. Wike who is the Chief Security officer of the state has repeatedly debunked their claims of deaths in Obigbo. The Governor has neither faulted the operations of solders in the state in manner nor linked the Army to any alleged abductions as claimed by IPOB Code propaganda instrument-InterSociety.

Having realized, it is chasing an empty whirlwind, and determined to make their story convincing to the ears, InterSociety infused it with the ethnic cleansing card and religious extermination agenda. The glaring attempts to disfigure reality is further weakened their inconsistent and conflicting expositions. If based on Intersociety claims of an ethnic and religious agenda pursued by a Muslim /Fulani Army; why is the same Army from the 6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt overseeing Rivers state led by a Southwesterner?  

Also, to frighten Gov. Wike and divert attention from their atrocious acts, IPOB Code members had earlier accused him of ingratitude. They claimed the Governor rewarding their electoral support to him with chasing them out of Oyigbo and Rivers state. It was a ploy to distract Gov. Wike’s attention from focusing on the atrocious acts.       
But InterSociety should be adequately informed that it’s behind the scenes satanic resurrection of the defunct IPOB is known by the relevant security agencies. Its identity as sponsors, think-tank and media propagandists for IPOB Code is no longer hidden now. Even the composition of its principal officers has betrayed it as a congregation of members of the defunct IPOB ever willing to unleash mayhem on any part of Nigeria.  

CESJET is, therefore, calling on the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and all other relevant security agencies to keep an eagle eye on the operations of  InterSociety and IPOB Code members in the South. They could probably be building an amazing network of adherents discreetly to the detriment of public peace and security.

Gov. Wike who is the Chief Security Officer of the state must necessarily sustain his vigilance on the sect to protect lives and property. Or else,  and quite undeniably, members of IPOB Code are fully prepared and armed to plunge the state into unimaginable violence and bloodshed, anytime soon.  

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Breaking: CNN Retracts Initial Report Soldiers Killed 38 at Lekki Tollgate During #EndSARS Protest

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The Cable News Network has retracted its initial report, which said operatives of the Nigerian Army killed 38 persons at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State on October 20, 2020.

The international broadcaster did this a double retraction on its Twitter handle it titled: “Clarification.”

In the “Clarification,” CNN said it did not attribute the death toll to Amnesty International and also failed to say in the report that the 38 persons killed were not just at the Lekki tollgate but across the country during the #EndSARS protest.

It tweeted: “Clarification: This tweet from October 23 did not attribute the death toll from protests in Nigeria to Amnesty International. The tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country.”

But it did both in its tweets and reports anchored by Stephanie Busari on the incident as attached to this report.

Though the first paragraph of the amended story on the incident on October 22, 2020 said the reported 38 deaths on October 20, 2020 was nationwide, what it tweeted on October 23, 2020 was that the military did the killing that day.

In that same first paragraph of the story, the international broadcaster attributed its source of death of 56 persons to Amnesty International, a position it then retreated in the early hours of Friday.

It wrote in the story, which video link is also attached: “At least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, with 38 killed across the country on Tuesday alone, according to human rights group Amnesty International.”

The Nigerian Government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, written a protest letter to the Management of CNN complaining about the authenticity of a report that put together various videos of the Lekki Tollgate shooting.

However, CNN followed it up with a Part 2 of the report.

The Nigerian Army had also disputed both the initial report on the October 20, 2020 shooting and the two parts report on the video evidences CNN claimed justified its position on the shooting incident.

Reactions to the “Clarification” by CNN had been pouring in since it was done at about 10:05pm Nigerian time on Thursday.

However, the broadcaster has not said anything on the two parts report that followed in the last one week.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/22/africa/nigeria-protests-56-dead-jail-fire-intl/index.html

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