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LASG Forms 7 Man-Panel, Raises N200M To Compensate SARS Victims

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, raised a seven-man Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by operatives of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the State.

The move is part of the steps being taken by Lagos Government to address the five-point demands of the youth demonstrating against SARS brutality.

Sanwo-Olu made the announcement during a live address held at the State House, Marina.

The panel, which is being headed by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, will sit for six months and is mandated to thoroughly investigate all verifiable claims of abuses and fatalities arising from SARS engagement in the State, with the objective to bring erring officers to justice and get compensation for the victims.

The panel members has three individuals representing Civil Society, one person representing security agency and one person representing the Government. Human Rights Commission and protesters are also expected to nominate their representatives, before the panel commences sitting next week.

The Governor also set aside N200 million Trust Fund for the compensation of victims and families of those who died in the course of SARS’ activities.

The developments, Sanwo-Olu said, were part of the agreements reached at the Thursday meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and which had all Governors in attendance.

The Governor said: “I attended a National Economic Council Sub-Committee Meeting in which the major focus was the ongoing EndSARS protests and the necessary steps to take to assuage the feelings of the protesters. In line with the five-point demands of the protesters, we unanimously decided to inaugurate a panel of investigation into human rights abuses.

“A seven-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses in Lagos State is now being constituted. This panel will ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality get justice and receive compensation. The panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi.

“Other panel members are Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Ms Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society), Mr. Segun Awosanya (Human Rights Activist), Mrs. Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Lagos Citizens Mediation Center), as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.”

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, has set up a help desk for the public complaints and petitions to the panel. Lagos residents, who have petitions against SARS, can reach the help desk on the numbers: 0901 051 3203, 0901 051 3204 and 0901 051 3205.

The Governor said his Government frowned at police misconduct seriously and would continue to respect the rights of the citizens to demonstrate peacefully. He condemned the violence that marred the EndSARS protest in Surulere on Monday.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed all the four erring police officers who fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in Area C Police Command in Surulere had been identified and currently facing an orderly room trial that is being monitored by the Government.

He gave the names of the erring officers to include: Inspector Bagou Michael, Inspector Ekpoudom Etop, Sergeant Nnamdi Majura and Sergeant Akinyemi Benson.

While making reference to the Thursday skirmish at the protest ground in Alausa, the Governor sent strong warning to hoodlums who may want to harass the protesters to desist from the act. He stressed that the full wrath of the law would be brought on anyone apprehended for such act.

Sanwo-Olu, however, appealed to the protesters to acknowledge the progress being made on their demands and respond in good faith. He said the State had started to record incidents of breakdown of law and order as a result of the unabated protest.

He bemoaned the collateral impacts of the protest on the wellbeing of businesses and residents, pointing out that Lagos had recorded fatal medical evacuations as a result of blockage of key roads and gridlock occasioned by the protests.

He said: “We have been getting complaints from Lagosians who are unable to go to their workplaces or earn a legitimate living because of the collateral impact of protest gatherings.

We cannot continue this way. What we need now, and ask for, is for the protesters to sheath their swords, and give us a chance, as Federal and State Governments, to consolidate on these actions being promptly taken to address their concerns.

“Even as we affirm the constitutional rights of all protesters to peacefully make their grievances known, it is also our duty as a government to ensure that the exercise of one set of rights by one group of people does not in any way constrain the rights of any other group of people.

We now have no choice but to take every necessary step to restore law and order and to minimise the disruptions being experienced by all law-abiding residents of Lagos State.”

The Governor reminded the protesters that Lagos had started to witness an increase in daily caseload of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last couple of days, stressing that the public demonstration could aggravate the health crisis that had been efficiently managed by the State Government.

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Pastor Bakare In Financial Trouble Because He Tore Bishop Oyedepo’s Book On TV – Biodun Fatoyinbo

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The senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, has urged his church members to always put God first.

Fatoyinbo, during a recent sermon, said that honouring God and putting him first is the surest way to exponential wealth. He urged his listeners to always pay their tithes and “first fruits”.

The preacher also had words for the Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC) general overseer, Pastor Tunde Bakare, over the bank loans he took to build his Lagos megachurch.

Fatoyinbo said that Bakare’s act of tearing Bishop David Oyedepo’s book could be the reason the CGCC pastor is in financial trouble over his megachurch project.

Bakare, many years ago, tore the book after, according to him, he read a portion in which Oyedepo called anointing oil “God’s life in a bottle”. Bakare was of the opinion that the claim was heretic and occultic.

But Fatoyinbo suggested that because the book was dealing with the topic of prosperity, tearing it may have taken Bakare far from financial stability.

“Someone tore Bishop Oyedepo’s books on prosperity and others on live TV. According to the news, he is now having issues because of N10 billion,” Fatoyinbo said without mentioning Bakare’s name.

I heard somebody is in trouble for N10 billion.

“Don’t let anybody deceive you. The church that they (Oyedepo’s church) are building, they already paid N100 billion cash for their building.

“They didn’t raise a dime. N100 Billion cash! And that’s not completion of the building. By the time they are finished with it, it has not been done on earth. Everybody is struggling to work there because it will be on their CV. It has not been done on earth. Anywhere. America. Anywhere. It has not been done on earth.

“Guys, I’m telling you there is a dimension we need to plunge into and I’m trusting God for sons to believe it.

“We are not teaching you what we are not doing, we are not following cunningly devised fables. It’s possible some people have taken advantage of Christians, but this is the truth,”
he said.

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Buhari’s Daughter, Zahra Slams Culture Of Men Not Crying

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Zahra, the daughter of the President, Muhammadu Buhari has said that as long as men have feelings, they should be able to express them, including crying.

Sharing an Islamic quote, which said, ‘In paradise, we will never cry’, she added her thoughts, saying, “Sometimes, don’t you just wonder why men aren’t allowed to cry? These emotions were given to us to express…if a woman can feel, so can a man.”

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President Buhari Arrives Lagos, Visits Shonekan’s Family

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President Muhammadu Buhari, mourned the death of the former head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.

President Buhari was accompanied to the Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi’s residence of the late Shonekan by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Ogun and Yobe State counterparts, Prince Dapo Abiodun and Mai Mala Buni.

Buhari, who was on a one-day presidential visit to Ogun State to commission some projects by Governor Dapo Abiodun administration, stopped in Lagos on his way to Abuja and spent some time to commiserate with the late Shonekan’s family.

He sympathised with the family over the demise of the former Head of the Interim National Government, who died in Lagos on Tuesday at the age of 85.

Shonekan was at the helm of affairs in Nigeria between August 26 and November 17, 1993 after General Babangida stepped aside as military president.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message issued on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the late Shonekan, as a renowned technocrat, seasoned administrator and passionate leader who served his country meritoriously as a public servant during his short tenure as Number One Citizen in Nigeria.

He said the late elder statesman did his best for the country in contributing to the growth and development of Nigeria.

The Governor also praised Shonekan’s contribution to the economy of Nigeria as boardroom guru and employer of labour, especially during his tenure as the Chairman and Managing Director of the United Africa Company.

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