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Mismatched Statements: After Army Denies Soldiers Presence At Lekki Toll-Gate, General Confirms Soldiers Were Present With Live Bullets

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After the Lekki Massacre that happened on the 20th of October, the Army denied the presence of soldiers at Lekki toll-gate and claimed that any news of shootings at the toll-gate was false.

According to the press release from Nigerian Army, it reads, “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilians protesters were massacred by the soldiers at Lekki Tool Plaza. This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country. At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian”.

This statement was signed by Acting Deputy, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi

However, Brig-Gen Ahmed Taiwo, the commander of 81 division, Military Intelligence said under cross-examination that the Army was indeed present at Lekki toll-gate.

During the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS abuse and other related matters on Saturday, it was discovered that 20 soldiers were armed with both live and blank bullets at the Lekki toll-gate on October 20.

At the request of the counsel of the #ENDSARS protesters, Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana, the committee agreed to seek ballistics and forensic experts to prove their allegations that protesters were shot at with live bullets by the soldiers and policemen.

The former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Ikeja Branch, Ogunlana, had sought to know if there were in-house experts for that purpose.

“My lord, has the panel made any arrangements for forensic experts and ballisticians”? Ogunlana asked panel chairman, Judge emeritus Doris Okuwobi on Saturday.

She said in response: “Parties are free to bring whoever they want”.

Ogunlana then agreed to make private arrangements for ballisticians and forensics experts.

In a recent report by the Cable News Network (CNN) on Lekki shooting, the news agency claimed that expended bullets were found at the scene and a high possibility that it was from Serbia.

However, Brid-Gen Taiwo reinforced his earlier statement that the soldiers were indeed at Lekki Toll-Gate and were armed with both live and blank bullets, but they only fired the blank into the air.
He also affirmed that “Soldiers were not sent to break up protests at toll gate”, but they were required to patrol the Lekki-Epe corridor and they met the #EndSARS protesters on their way there.

When asked what ammunition the soldiers left Bonny Camp with, General Taiwo said: “Vehicles and riffles.”

Olumide-Fusika asked: “They were carrying rifles. What were they carrying them for?”

Taiwo: “For shooting. Definitely, a portion of the team will carry live bullets in case they are attacked”.

Olumide-Fusika: “Why did you tell lies? Are you aware the army denied being at the toll-gate?

Taiwo: “The first statement was borne out of the necessity that we did not have full facts available to us.

“Second, nobody was sent to Lekki Toll Gate to break up any protest”.

To this, Olumide-Fusika said: “A number of my clients suffered gunshot injuries and it happened at the Lekki toll gate. Yet you still say no such thing happened?”

“Yes, My Lord,” Taiwo said.

According to Gen. Taiwo, the Oriental Hotel was been guarded by policemen when the soldiers arrived in the vicinity. He claimed that hoodlums attacked the soldiers and they had to fire blanks to clear the area.

The General agreed that the army could have followed a different route while carrying out their patrol duty, but the commander in charge of the patrol believed Lekki toll-gate was the best route.

He said some hoodlums approached the soldiers aggressively immediately they arrived at the area.

“By the time they (soldiers) fired a few shots into the air, they hightailed it.”

Responding to another question, he added, “Our mission was not to arrest, but to clear the area on the way to our destination.”

Gen. Taiwo also added that an unnamed officer was injured by a stone that hit him on the lips.

A question that begets the lips of a few concerned Nigerians is if the police return to the barracks for reinforcement after the attack with the supposed hoodlums or the reinforcement happened in preparation that hoodlums might disrupt their patrol duty.

Finance

Stanbic IBTC Obtains Approvals, License to Establish Life Insurance Subsidiary

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc on Friday announced that it has obtained all required Regulatory Approvals and a license from the National Insurance Commission to establish a wholly-owned Life Insurance subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited (SIIL).

In a statement signed by Chidi Okezi, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC and released on Friday, the bank said “The establishment of this new subsidiary essentially complements the bouquet of product offerings by Stanbic IBTC as it continues its goal of being the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider in Nigeria. In this regard, SIIL will aim to facilitate long term insurance for already financially included individuals and will seek to become the preferred Insurer in the Life Insurance Business.

“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, is a full-service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade deals between Africa, China and select emerging markets. Standard Bank Group is the largest African financial institution by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 21 countries on the African continent.

“Standard Bank has been in operation for over 158 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.”

 

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World Bank to Discuss New $1.5 Billion Loan Request From Nigeria

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Zainab Ahmed

The Finance Minister, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Friday said the Federal Government has met all the conditions for a fresh loan of $1.5 billion from the World Bank.

The minister disclosed this on Bloomberg TV.

She said the multilateral financial institution is in the final stage of approving the loan. The minister explained that the loan will be discussed in the bank’s next meeting and possibly be approved in the same meeting.

In June, the Senate approved the borrowing plans but the World Bank pushed back demanding Nigeria fulfill the conditions attached to the $3.4 billion loan received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May.

Some of the conditions were to increase revenue generation by upping VAT, the introduction of tariff reflective electricity bill, the removal of subsidy and the unification of the nation’s foreign exchange.

Most of which the Federal Government has done despite protests from most Nigerians who called the new policies anti-people given their current situation.

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Finance

Nigeria Realises Over N400 Billion from Company Income Tax in the Third Quarter of 2020

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The Federal Government realised N416.01 billion from Company Income Tax (CIT) in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This was 3.48 percent higher than the N402.03 billion generated in the second quarter of the year and represents a decline of 20.13 percent year-on-year from N520.89 billion realised in the third quarter of 2019.

A breakdown of the report showed the professional services sector including the telecoms generated the highest amount of CIT at N55.52 billion during the quarter, while the manufacturing sector followed with N42.03 billion.

The banking and financial institutions realised N24.05 billion while the mining generated the least and closely followed by Textile and Garment Industry and Local Government Councils with N120.93 million, N167.51 million and N321.72 million generated, respectively.

The report added that out of the total amount realised during the quarter under review, a sum of N244.70 billion was generated as CIT locally. The federal government collected N70.34 billion as foreign CIT payment and the remain N100.97 billion was received as CIT from other payments.

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