- Falana Laments Delay in Prosecution of Benue Killings Suspects
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has lamented the delay in prosecuting over 100 suspects arrested in connection with the killings in Benue State, fearing that the suspects might eventually escape justice.
Falana has also asked the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) “to investigate the refusal of state attorneys-general to prosecute murder suspects due to political pressure or sheer negligence of duty.”
He canvassed these positions in a letter he addressed to the NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), last Friday, in which he commended the NBA leadership for conducting an inquiry into the reckless killing of unarmed people in Benue State.
Falana specifically, pointed out that the security operatives had arrested more than 100 persons, who were allegedly complicit in the killing of 73 farmers on January 1, 2018 in Benue State by suspected herdsmen.
He feared that the suspects might be released from custody, noting that they “have not been charged with culpable homicide in the appropriate courts by the state government.”
However, Falana regretted that the NBA had failed “to monitor the prosecution of the scores of murder suspects arrested by the police or indicted by the judicial and administrative panels of inquiry set up by federal and state governments to probe violent civil disturbances in the country.”
He said the rate of killings in the country had been on the rise due to what he ascribed to the refusal of several state Attorneys-General to prosecute murder suspects due to political pressure or sheer negligence of duty.
He reeled out instances of such acts of negligence on the prosecution, citing the case of Taraba State where some suspects were arrested and charged with murder for the brutal killing of hundreds of Nigerians in Mambilla local government in September 2017.
But according to him, the murder suspects have since been freed by the state government, which abruptly terminated the criminal proceedings.
He cited the killing of thousands of people including security personnel in Nasarawa, Plateau and Zamfara States, lamenting that all suspects arrested in connection had not been brought to justice by the affected state governments.
He said: “Between 1999 and 2007, an official squad was fingered in the unlawful elimination of not less than 70 people in Gombe State. The murder charges filed against the suspects by the police were struck out by the courts at the instance of the state government.
“The late Alhaji Umar Hassan who demanded for the prosecution of the culprits was charged with giving false information to the police by the State government!”
He alleged: “The members of an official squad, which killed some politicians and students in Ekiti State from 2003-2006 were arrested and charged with murder at the High Court, sitting at Ado Ekiti. A retired army captain and his police orderly who killed the students were convicted and jailed.
“But both convicts were, however, granted pardon by the state governor in 2009. As if that was not enough, the murder charges pending against the other murder suspects were struck out by the trial court in 2014 for want of diligent prosecution on the part of the state government.
“The Ahmed Lemu Presidential Panel, which investigated the post-election violence in 12 northern states and Akwa Ibom State in April 2011 found that 856 people were killed. In the White Paper issued on the report the Federal Government directed that the culprits be prosecuted but the directive was not carried out by the states where the killings occurred.
“The National Human Rights Commission under the leadership of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu found that 55 people were killed in the pre-election violence, which occurred in Rivers State in 2015. The culprits were never prosecuted by the state government. Since then over 100 other citizens have been killed by armed gangs.
“The Justice Garba Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the violent attack on the Shiites by the Nigerian Army in December 12-14, 2015 found that 347 people were killed and secretly buried in a shallow grave by the murderers.
“In the white paper issued on the report of the commission, the state government directed that the suspects be prosecuted. But the Attorney-General of Kaduna state has refused to prosecute the murder suspects, the human right lawyer said.
In December 2016, Falana noted that the National Management Emergency Agency (NEMA) confirmed the killing of 204 people in Southern Kaduna, lamenting that the murder suspects had not been prosecuted till date.
He argued that since culpable homicide or murder “is a state offence you will agree with us that the attorneys-general of all the states in the country have failed to discharge their duties under section 205 of the Constitution.
“In fact, some of the Attorneys-General have a penchant for terminating murder charges by filing nolle prosequi. In the process, the Chief Law Officers of the states have breached their oaths of office and subverted the rule of law.”
#EndSARS: Here is the Complete Speech of President Buhari
The Complete Speech of President Muhammadu Buhari
Following the Lekki Massacre, president Muhammadu Buhari delivered the much-awaited speech. However, the speech failed to touch on the massacre or the people affected, infuriating millions of Nigerian youths that have committed so much to the struggle and lost so much.
Below is the complete speech.
It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.
As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.
On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.
Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.
The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.
All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.
Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.
The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.
On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:
a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises
b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission
c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans
d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders
These are in addition to many other initiatives such as:
e. N-Tech and
No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.
With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force.
The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.
In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.
Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.
We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.
We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.
But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.
In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.
I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions.
Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.
And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect.
Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.
I would like to thank those State Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint.
I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.
This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.
Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Passport, Visa Trend as Nigerian Youths Look to Move Out En masse Following Disappointing Presidential Speech
Passport and Visa Trend on Twitter Following Disappointing Presidential Speech
Nigerian youths have started looking for a way to exit the country following a disappointing Presidential speech after security operatives opened fire on peaceful protesters on October 20, 2020 at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria.
The youths, who have been protesting and demanding an end to the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), had assembled at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 to sustain their protest before the commencement of a 24-hour curfew declared by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
However, shortly after they sang the national anthem, they were attacked by security operatives in one of the goriest scenes ever witnessed in the country. Despite calls for prosecution of perpetrators by both international and local civil rights organisations, the Federal Government has denied the occurrence even when Sanwo-Olu had earlier said forces beyond his control had made dark notes of history in the state.
This coupled with President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to acknowledge the killings and occurrence in his speech on Thursday, negatively affected the youths that for the first time went all out to demand a change in one voice.
Feeling dejected with the situation and most importantly hopeless about the future, they were forced to start seeking an exit from an uncertain future to a more predictable economy govern by sane people.
Since the failed presidential speech, Passport and Visa have been trending on Twitter as Nigerian youths now shift their focus to traveling out of Nigeria, a nation expected to plunge into the second economic recession in four years in the third quarter under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The inflation rate increased by 13.71 percent in September with the nation’s unemployment rate at 27.1 percent or 21.8 million amid rising economic uncertainties, weak foreign reserves and a currency that has been devalued twice this year.
#EndSARS Protesters Kill as Security Operatives Open Fire at Lekki Toll Gate
Security Operatives Open Fire on #EndSARS Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate
Nigerian security operatives deployed to Lekki Toll Gate following the announcement of a 24-hour curfew by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, opened fire on peaceful protesters on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
According to numerous accounts of protesters, the army started shooting even before the curfew announced to commence by 9 pm on Tuesday.
Retweet aggressively the world need to see this 🇳🇬✊
Follow for follow then we move 😭💔💔💔#unarmed #Genocide Lekki #BuhariResignNow Nigeria #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW #buhariisamurderer #blacktuesday DJ Switch Tinubu IFO OMATA my God WE WILL NEVER FORGET | Jesus |Toll pic.twitter.com/qRsH13D4c3
— #EndSars (@AkacheSucre) October 20, 2020
So even ambulance wasn’t allowed to go help the peaceful protesters that were shot at Lekki#blacktuesday #EndBadGoveranceInNigeria #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW #therewasacountry
Dj Switch pic.twitter.com/EBLipg7bEY
— David Young🇳🇬 (@daveyung333) October 20, 2020
— Dr Remi Adekoya (@RemiAdekoya1) October 20, 2020
Forex3 weeks ago
Naira Improves Against Global Counterparts on Black Market
Business2 weeks ago
Buhari Budgets N420 Billion for Npower, Other Social Investment Programmes in 2021 Budget
Technology4 weeks ago
Dell Partners Other Firms to Establish Tech Centre in Nigeria
Government3 weeks ago
#Endsars: Naira Marley Calls Off Protest following Police Invitation
News4 weeks ago
Npower News: Beware of Fake Npower Employment, Ministry Warns Exited Beneficiaries
News4 weeks ago
Laycon Bbnaija Biography, Career and Health Issue
Business4 weeks ago
Npower News Today 2020, Over 5m Applies for Npower Batch C, Selection to be Transparent -Farouq
Cryptocurrency3 weeks ago
Interview with Paul Mak, CEO of Bonded.Finance