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Sanwo-olu Was Misinformed; Nobody Died At The Toll Gate – Brig.-Gen Taiwo

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During the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS abuse and other related matters on Saturday, Brig. Gen. Taiwo said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State was misinformed about the number of casualties recorded at the protest ground.

“Sanwo-Olu misinformed; nobody died at toll-gate,” he said

This was in contradiction to the statement credited to Lagos state governor that two protesters died at Lekki toll-gate.

According to the General, the supposed death did not happen at the protest ground.

“On 20th October 2020, at about 6.30 pm, while we tried to speak with the protesters and negotiate with them, they pelted stones at us and we had to fire blank bullets at protesters”.

General Taiwo alleged that most of the pictures posted on social media were not taken on the said date.

“Any picture that you (lawyers) want to present here must be submitted for forensic test.

“No protester sustained injury or died. The two people Governor Sanwo-Olu mentioned did not die at the scene; one died on Admiralty Way, which is three kilometers away from the Lekki Toll Gate, the second person was shot at Yaba,” Taiwo said.

When asked if the General was aware of the news about the protest on any foreign media, he claimed to have seen the news from BBC and CNN but not from Al-Jazeera

“Most of the videos in play have been manipulated,” Gen Taiwo said.

“Two people fainted, not died”

When asked about the presence of Omata at Lekki toll-gate on the day of the shooting, Gen. Taiwo said Omata and Bello were assigned to secure the Lekki-Epe corridor and were supposed to meet and be on their way before the Lekki incident occurred.

Taiwo explained that the exercise was led by two senior officers Lieutenant Colonel S. O. Bello who is the Commanding Officer of 65 Division, and Brigadier General Francis Omata.

When asked by Olumide-Fusika about the purpose of General Omata joining Lieutenant Colonel Bello at the toll gate, General Taiwo said it was operational.

But the #EndSARS protesters’ lawyer disagreed.

He said: “Are you aware that Gen Omata came later to stop your men from shooting?

The officer replied: “He didn’t. He was there after the shooting had occurred. He was there to employ the non-kinetic (non-violent) measures”.

Taiwo said: “The General Officer Commanding was not in town. I called Gen Omata, he was already on ground”.

Ogunlana: “You also called Bello, why?”

Taiwo: “I was getting conflicting reports from social media and the internet. I wanted to find out what happened.

“On the internet, we were seeing videos being streamed purportedly of shootings on the ground; people screaming ‘they are killing us’ videos to that effect, so I called him.

“When the first report came in, I dismissed it. I knew nobody sent anyone to the Toll Gate….I asked him if he was anywhere near the toll gate and he said they had been stoned by hoodlums and he released some shots into the air.

“I also asked him if anybody had died as it was being reported on the internet, he replied in the negative. He had only seen two people who had fainted and they had been revived”.

As regards the shootings, the general responded to a question from Mr. Bernard Oniga, a representative of the NBA, he said that the army fired in response to the stones thrown at them.

“We shoot if pelted with stones”

“If you are being pelted with stones, the only option is gunshot. You can’t expect us to throw stones back”.

The panel ruled that following Ogunlana’s request, the facility might soon become the subject of forensic and ballistic analysis. The parties were given two weeks to conclude all analysis.

However, Mr. Olumide-Fusika claimed that there was evidence of shootings on the facilities at the toll plaza.

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Playfre Wins “Best Music Streaming Platform – West Africa” at the Fourth Annual African Excellence Awards

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Playfre - Investors King

African music streaming service Playfre wins “Best Music Streaming Platform – West Africa” at the fourth annual African Excellence Awards, hosted by MEA Markets. 

“The recent months have undoubtedly brought about significant challenges for many industries across Africa, and therefore [We are] delighted to be the bearer of good news following Playfre’s 2021 nomination.” said Kaven Oscar Cooper, Awards Executive at MEA Markets.

“Over the past couple of weeks, our judging team have assessed the shortlist for MEA Markets’ African Excellence Awards. It is with absolute pleasure to confirm that Playfre has been successful, and have been awarded: Best Music Streaming Platform – West Africa” Cooper continued.

“We are delighted to be recognized in this way and it is such an honor and privilege to be bestowed with such a prestigious award.” says Chika Nwaogu, CEO of Playfre Music Group.

Available in 54 African countries and with operations in both Kenya and Nigeria, Playfre is an African music streaming platform that was launched on 1 May 2019. Since inception, Playfre has amassed over 70,000 registered users and over 100,000,000 streams.

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Iheanacho’s Leicester Underdog as FA Cup Final Airs on StarTimes

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Chelsea will face Leicester City for the FA Cup final in Wembley on Saturday at 5:15 pm.

The match will air live and in HD on StarTimes’ World Football channel.

The FA Cup final will be immediately followed by the Coppa Italia final on May 19 and Europa League final on May 26 and then cascade to Euro 2020. All matches will air on StarTimes basic bouquet at N1700 monthly (antenna users) or smart bouquet at N2200 (dish users).

On Saturday, the Blues go into the FA Cup final at Wembley against Leicester City as the favourites, especially as their last two results saw them beat some pretty impressive opponents.

Thanks to a stellar squad led by two German internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are the favourites of the final. But Leicester could surprise the Blues, which are battling on many fronts.

One African international who is bound to feature in the game is Kelechi Iheanacho, who has formed a deadly striking partnership with Jaimie Vardy upfront for Leicester. The Nigerian international was on target again on the weekend for his side in their 4-2 home defeat against Newcastle, to take his tally for the season to 11. He scored 10 of those goals in his last nine matches.

Authorities have said that some 22,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley.

That leaves millions of other football fans who will want to see the match. And for African football fans there is great news as the game will be screened live and in HD on the StarTimes football channels.

StarTimes Nigeria PR Manager, Lazarus Ibeabuchi, said: “Football lovers in Nigeria can look forward to this exciting showpiece on StarTimes at the most affordable rate in the market. Active subscribers can watch on the go by downloading StarTimes ON mobile app and linking it to their decoders, at no extra cost, to access the same content on up to three mobile devices. Also, non-subscribers can also watch live sports, sought-after TV channels and over 2000 video-on-demand content for as low as N400 weekly, with an option to subscribe with their MTN airtime, via our StarTimes ON mobile app.”

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COVID-19: Eid-el-Fitr Prayers To Hold Indoors

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has banned Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway, Airport Road.

The prohibition, Bello said, is due to COVID-19 ravaging some part of the world.

The Minister on Monday chaired a meeting of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and a delegation from the FCT League of Imams Initiative led by its chairman, Imam (Dr) Tajudeen Adigun.

The meeting discussed measures on how to curb further spread of the pandemic and modalities of holding prayers for the upcoming Eid el-Fitr celebrations.

Based on presentations by officials of the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Implementation guidelines for phased Restriction of Movement by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 on Monday May 10, 2021, the Minister further ordered all worshippers to hold Eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighborhood Juma’at mosques.

The Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, also affirmed in a statement realesed on Tuesday, that all Eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes.

He said all public parks, recreation and entertainment centres are to be closed.

The statement reads in part: “There will be no Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway (Airport Road)

“Indoor worship are to be limited to less than 50% of installed capacity.

“Religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship.

“All non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed.”

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