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Amnesty Releases Timeline Of Lekki Shootings, Warns Govt Against Cover-up 

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Global rights group , Amnesty International, has released the timeline of the October 20 , 2020 shootings at the Lekki toll plaza .

Amnesty, which stated last week that at least 10 persons were killed at the tollgate , detailed the events leading to the incident and warned the authorities against a cover -up .
This is contained in a statement titled , ‘ Nigeria: Authorities must stop attempts to cover -up Lekki Toll Gate massacre – new investigative timeline ’ .
The timeline collates photographs and video footage to confirm that Nigerian Army vehicles left Bonny Camp, a military base approximately a seven -minute drive from the toll gate , at 6 .29 pm local time on October 20 .
Amnesty said its International Crisis Response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirm the Nigerian security forces were present at the Lekki tollgate when the shootings occurred as opposed to an earlier statement by the Nigerian Army.
The group said at 6 : 29 pm local time in Lagos , two military vehicles were filmed leaving Bonny Camp on videos shared on social media.
Amnesty said, “ Later, footage shows four vehicles with flashing lights in a convoy , and they appear to be vehicles used by the Nigerian military and police.
“ The same vehicles head east along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue – which changes its name to the Lekki -Epe Expressway – in the direction of the Lekki tollgate . On this route, the vehicles pass several international embassies and consulates , including the Japanese Embassy and the Australian High Commission .
“ Further photographs and footage capture the vehicles arriving at the toll gate, before the peaceful protest is disrupted by men in military uniform and gunfire is heard . As night time descended , protesters continued to film and share videos of the shootings . Later in the evening , videos of the victims were also shared on social media .”
Amnesty said approximately 6 . 45 pm , the Nigerian military opened fire on the # EndSARS protesters who were peacefully calling for an end to police brutality .
Country Director of Amnesty International , Osai Ojigho, said what happened at the Lekki tollgate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities ’ pattern of a cover -up whenever their defence and security forces committed unlawful killings .
Ojigho said , “ One week on , the Nigerian authorities still have many questions to answer : who ordered the use of lethal force on peaceful protesters? Why were CCTV cameras on the scene dismantled in advance? And who ordered electricity being turned off minutes before the military opened fire on protesters?
“ The initial denials of the involvement of soldiers in the shooting were followed by the shameful denial of the loss of lives as a result of the military ’s attack against the protests .
“ Many people are still missing since the day of the incident , and credible evidence shows that the military prevented ambulances from reaching the severely injured in the aftermath. ”
Amnesty called on the government to bring to justice those behind the shooting and to protect those who are exercising their right to freedom of assembly .
“ The organisation is still investigating the shooting , and the reported removal of bodies of those killed by the military in an attempt to remove evidence ,” it said.
Meanwhile, a Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government to look into the incident and grievances of victims commenced hearing on Tuesday .
The Panel calls on the public to come forward with memoranda for discussion.

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Business

Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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Nigeria Needs $2.3tn To Address Infrastructure Deficit, Says FG

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said that the country need $2.3tn to address its national integrated infrastructure masterplan.

He said this in Abuja on Thursday at a town hall meeting themed: ‘Nigeria’s infrastructure revolution: Road to a new future’, organised by Business Hallmark.

According to him, the 23-year masterplan (2020-2043) is for the development of infrastructure including roads, railway network and maritime sector.

The event was chaired by a former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

Mustapha said, “Conscious of the economic disruption caused by 2016 recession and COVID-19 as well as challenges of previous reforms, the Federal Government revised the 23 year (2020-2043) national integrated infrastructure masterplan that identified critical enablers.

“For the 23-year period, $2.3tn will be required, translating to about $150bn annually and the private sector and other partners have to provide 56 per cent, while Federal Government and state governments will provide 44 per cent of the share of the investment.

“The Federal Government has made important strides towards providing much of our infrastructure and has, in recent years, conducted several infrastructural reforms.

“Specifically, we are extending and upgrading the nation’s railway network and introducing more locomotive couches. The port sector has been converted to landlocked model and terminal.

“Similarly, Public Private Partnership style infrastructure company with an initial seed capital of N1tn envisaging to grow over time to N6tn in assets and capital has been established and will soon commence operation.

“It will be one of the premier finance entities in Africa and will be wholly dedicated to Nigeria’s infrastructure development.

“The reduction in Nigeria’s infrastructural gap will also give the country a competitive advantage under the newly signed Africa Free Continental Area Trade Agreement.”

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, deplored the water crises in Nigeria saying no community in the country enjoyed water supply always.

He said, “In 1992, 30 per cent of the Nigerian population was enjoying pipe-borne water and as of 2015, it had dropped to seven per cent.

“In 2015, we were at 68 per cent national coverage for access to water and as of today, we are at 70 per cent and maybe by the time the result for 2021 comes out, we might be at 71 per cent to 72 per cent.

“As for water quality, 90 per cent of water consumed, including water from the boreholes, are contaminated and water is the basic necessity of life.”

Oyegun, in his contribution at the event, said six years going, the performance of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had been mixed.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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