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Lekki Shootings: Global Amnesty, CSOs Storm Panel With Lorries Of Evidence, Want Celebrities, International NGOs Punished For Spreading Fake News

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Some human rights groups have approached the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution with pieces of evidence indicting several Nigerian celebrities and international non-governmental organisations for inciting violence through fake news.

evidence submitted to the panel

According to the groups, these Nigerians and NGOs must be punished for their gross misinformation which triggered the near-breakdown of law and order that accompanied the EndSARS protests, particularly in Lagos.

The Global Amnesty Watch (GAW) made this known on Monday in a detailed memorandum to the Registrar, Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution on the #ENDSARS protests and subsequent escalation of violence across the country.

The memorandum was signed by Abdulmalik Alfa, Werigbelegha Zinake, Linda Etafia and Sadiq Abdullahi on behalf of International Human Rights Protection Forum (IHRPF), Centre for Human Rights Advancement in Nigeria (CHRAN), Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) and Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI) respectively.

In its submission, the groups reasoned that the kind of donations the protests garnered confirms vested interests propagated by celebrities to cause anarchy.

” The EndSARS protest across the country is assumed in many quarters to be without a leadership structure. While this position has been canvassed in numerous quarters, however, there seems to be a link with regards to the provision of logistic support to the protesters across the country. It is instructive to state that the EndSARS protest was funded from a well-concealed network that raised over N75 Million from donations from individuals in Nigerian and outside the shores of the country through a group called The Feminist Coalition,” the memorandum read in part.

“Distinguished Chairman and Members of the Panel, let it be stated here that Global Amnesty Watch agrees with the position of the government that indeed some vested interest used the EndSARS protests to advance a cause that would have led to anarchy in Nigeria. This is on the heels that the victims of the violence are both public and private concerns, as highlighted by the Lagos State Government”.

The GAW noted that the continuation of the protest despite the government’s sincerity further proves that there was a premeditated plot to wreak havoc.

“The Global Amnesty Watch views these initiatives by the government as laudable and with intent to see to the end of the peaceful protest by the youths. Consequently and given the steps taken by the government, the atmosphere for a peaceful resolution to the issues at stake were conducive and ought to have been embraced. Sadly, this was not the case as the protest continued until it was hijacked by thugs and hoodlums that went on a rampage destroying properties and committing other despicable acts that brought socio-economic activities to a halt in the country,” the 63-page document revealed.

“We state in unequivocal terms that the continuation of the protest that eventually led to the escalation of violence was indeed premeditated and most likely sponsored with the ultimate aim of causing anarchy in Nigeria. It is instructive to note that some group of individuals undermined the peace initiatives introduced by the government towards finding a lasting solution by the continuous instigation of youths through the social media platforms”.

The GAW fingered musician, Folarin Falana aka Falz, disc jockey, DJ Switch, Feminist Coalition, Burna Boy, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Nnamdi Kanu to be at the forefront of this campaign to destroy the nation with fake news.

On the involvement of the Nigerian Military, the groups said it was in the overall best interest of the nation which averted an imminent collapse.

The memorandum added, “the Nigerian Army managed the EndSARS protest that was fast leading into anarchy in the country. Global Amnesty Watch wishes to frantically reiterate that but for the intervention of the Nigerian Army, the country would have erupted in flames with the violence that was witnessed in Lagos and other parts of the country.

“It must be noted that the involvement of the Nigerian Military in Internal Security Operations has been constant reoccurrences in the Nigerian polity and from all indices, law and order were restored in such instances. The EndSARS protest is one of such instances that indeed brought to the fore the strategic importance of the Nigerian Military in Internal Security Operations in the country in instances where the civil police are overwhelmed.

“It must also be stated that the involvement of the Nigerian Military in such operations are governed by extant laws with regards to the rules of engagement which expressly states that no officer or soldier must be found aiding or abetting any act of arson, vandalism or unprofessional conduct coming from the citizens. Troops are rather duty-bound to intervene in any situation to avoid a breakdown in peace, stability or order of an area where they are deployed. The Global Amnesty Watch uses this opportunity to commend various acts of bravery and professionalism displayed by officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in Lagos state as well as other parts of the country”.

According to GAW, the ability of troops to engage protesters in the most civil manner and without the use of force of any kind quelled the tension.

The groups expressed disappointment with the ongoing campaign of calumny against the troops by another set of celebrities led by Femi Falana, Genevieve Nnaji and Kemi Olulonyo.

The Global Amnesty Watch in its final analysis, however, called on the panel to compensate state actors; prosecute instigators; ban international NGOs; demand apology from fake news merchants as well as sanction broadcast houses.

In all, it absolved the military of any wrongdoing at Lekki toll gate, Lagos or anywhere in the country

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists

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The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.

In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.

After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.

According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.

The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.

Read the full statement below:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.

A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

Our statement:

The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.

It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.

The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.

Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.

The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.

Conclusion:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.

The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.

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Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.

Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.

According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

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Army Neutralize 23 Terrorists, 6 Soldiers Wounded

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Troops of Operation Fire Ball, a subsidiary of Operation Lafiya Dole, has neutralized 23 Boko Haram/ISWAP while one terrorist’s Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was captured alive during a recent encounter.

The operations in the last 3 weeks of this month according to Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko has proved to be a significant period against the criminals during which 2 women and 3 children were rescued unhurt while the gallant troops courageously intercepted some Boko Haram criminals while attempting to collect ransom from relations of their abducted victims leading to the decimation of the criminals.

The Ag Director Defence Media Operations revalealed that as a result of the aggressive offensive actions carried out by the troops, several terrorist elements have been neutralized and large number of their equipment were captured including large quantity of their logistics consignment intercepted by the gallant troops.

Items intercepted are; 4 Gun Trucks, one Fabricated Vehicule Blinde Leger, 2 Anti Aircraft Guns, one General Purpose Machine Gun, 2 PKT Guns, 8 AK 47 Rifles, 2 AK 47 Rifle Magazines, one AK 47 Rifle Cover and one Dane Gun.

Furthermore, large cache of ammunition were also captured. This include: 18 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 4 rounds of Brownie Machine Gun ammunition, one Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, One 36 Hand Grenade, 23 belted rounds of 7.62 x 54, One QJC Extra Barrel, 311 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition (Linked), 511 rounds of PKT ammunition, 8 rounds of Light Machine Gun ammunition, One Service Tools Box,

One gas cylinder (for making IED), 8 bicycles, several bags of grains and assorted packets of drugs. Other assorted non lethal items were also captured from the criminals.

Unfortunately, Onyeuko said, 6 gallant soldiers were wounded in action over the period. However, the wounded soldiers have since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding positively to treatment.

He assured the entire populace of the North East region of the Nigerian military high command determination to finally rout the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals from their enclaves in this zone.

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