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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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Disengaged Npower Beneficiaries Threatens Nationwide Protest, Gives Minister Sadiya 15 Days Ultimatum to Fulfil Exit Package

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The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouk has been issued a 15 days ultimatum by aggrieved disengaged Npower workers to address issues concerning their allowance and other exit packages as promised by the government.

The disengaged Npower workers represented by Jibril Yahaya in a statement said that Minister Sadiya Farouk claiming to have started paying their allowances was one of her tricks and deceit.

“Sadiya has played us enough, and we are tired of her tricks and deceit. “

Recall that Minister Farouk had earlier announced the payment of disengaged Npower beneficiaries in August 2021 as reported by SaharaReporters. However, it was revealed that only 200 disengaged beneficiaries have claimed to receive their allowances across the country as at September 2021

The statement in full, “Disengaged Npower beneficiaries to embark on another nationwide protest over Minister Sadiya’s failure to fulfill her numerous promises and continuous negligence of 500,000 exited beneficiaries.

“The disgruntled beneficiaries have given Minister of Humanitarian Affairs who is in charge of NPower Scheme, Sadiya Farouk, a 15-day ultimatum to address their issues, between October 26 and November 9, 2021, or we will occupy her office by November 10.

“Recall that the minister had published in the newspapers that she paid all the affected beneficiaries their five months backlog of stipends which was false and deceit (to deceive Nigerians).

“Recall also that the minister had announced that her ministry would commence training of the exited Npower beneficiaries in October in furtherance to the implementation of the Nexit loan programme.

“Till date, no schedule has been released by the ministry in preparation for the said training as a prerequisite for disbursing the Nexit loan to the beneficiaries.

“Sadiya has played us enough, and we are tired of her tricks and deceit. We are mobilising for another nationwide protest. We will occupy her office comes November 10th, until exit package is implemented.”

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2022 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Registration To Start Nov 1

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Organisers of the 2022 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have set the official registration date to the 1st of November, 2021.

The Head of Communication and Media for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Mr. Olukayode Thomas, affirmed that the registration process and date for the 2022 race have been confirmed.

“Any interested participants in the Feb. 12, 2022 race will have the chance to register online or by picking hard copy forms at the Marathon Office inside the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

“The forms for the 2022 race will also be made available in selected Access Bank branches.

“Unlike the last edition which was restricted to only elite runners, the 2022 race will be open to all, including fun runners in the 10-km category,” he said.

Mr. Thomas explained that across the world, road races had since returned to full capacity after the initial reduction in the number of participants and outright cancellations occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are back to full capacity just like the other top races across the world.

“With the return of the 10-km fun run, we should be having between 80,000 and 100,000 participants at the seventh edition of our yearly race.

“Already seen as the biggest one-day event on the continent, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is set to become the first marathon in Nigeria to organize the 7th edition.

“Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is also the first race to win a World Athletics Bronze Label in Africa after two editions and the first in the world to win the prestigious Silver Label after four editions,” he said.

Thomas stated that the race ranks among the top 10 in the world and in terms of the number of participants, the Lagos race is proudly among the top five in the world.

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Kanu Appears in Court, Pleads Not Guilty to Seven Count Charges

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Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, earlier today pleaded not guilty to the seven-count amended charge the Federal Government preferred against him.

Kanu, who was docked before trial Justice Binta Nyako, said he was innocent of all the allegations FG levelled against him after the charge was read to him in the open court.

His re-arraignment came on day the Department of State Services, DSS, blatantly refused to allow even a single journalist inside the courtroom.

Though this reporter and six other journalists were initially cleared at the main gate of the court to enter the premises, upon his arrival at the door leading to the courtroom, arm-wielding operatives of the secret service denied him entry.

The operatives insisted their action was based on “order from above”.

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