World News – CA – Presidential panel accepts protesters’ five-point demand #EndSARS – THISDAYLIVE


• The protests spread to Port Harcourt, Owerri, Akure, Ibadan, Yola, Enugu, etc. • Soldiers attack ARISE TV team, brutalize protesters in Abuja • IG creates new unit to replace SARS • Sanwo-Olu creates 200 million naira fund for victims

The Presidential Group on Police Reforms accepted the protesters’ five-point demand against police brutality, which included stopping the use of force against protesters and the unconditional release of arrested citizens

Other demands include justice for victims of police brutality, including payment of compensation, and psychological assessment of police officers, including increased salaries

Despite these concessions, including the disbandment of the rogue police squad, SARS, protests spread yesterday to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Ibadan in Oyo State, Akure in Ondo State, Owerri in Imo State, Ilorin in Kwara State, Enugu in Enugu State and Yola in Adamawa State

Protesters also continued their campaign in Lagos and Abuja, where soldiers brutalized some young people yesterday, including the ARISE NEWS channel team

But the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has put in place a new team to replace infamous SARS even as Lagos State Governor M Babajide Sanwo-Olu has created a 200 million naira fund to help victims of police brutality

The meeting with stakeholders was convened by Adamu following directives from President Muhammadu Buhari on the disbandment of the Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS) and the immediate response to citizens’ aspirations

The President’s Special Advisor for Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement released yesterday, said the meeting, hosted by the IG office and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), was a multi-stakeholder forum attended by leaders and representatives of civil society organizations in Nigeria, activists from the entertainment industry and the #ENDSARS movement and development partners

Adesina said a statement signed by Adamu and NHRC Executive Secretary M Tony Ojukwu, said the dissolution of SARS provided an opportunity to embark on comprehensive reforms aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Police as a modern, responsive and citizen-centered law enforcement organization

The statement said the proposed reforms would be anchored on the basis of the White Paper on the Presidential Group Report on SARS Reform, co-authored by the NHRC, the Federal Justice Department and the Nigerian Police Force

He said the police reform proposals would be based on the constitution and existing laws, such as; the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act, 2019, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, and the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2010, among others

The statement acknowledged and accepted the protesters’ demands: “Following the dissolution of SARS, the Forum calls for the following immediate steps to be taken to restore public confidence in the police: An order from the Inspector General of The police at all levels of the State to put an end to the use of force against the demonstrators; unconditional release of demonstrators and arrested citizens; open communication and citizen outreach to build trust and a roadmap for the implementation of the Presidential Group White Paper on SARS Reform

« The Forum welcomed the proposal to establish an independent investigative group to examine human rights violations by the late SARS and other segments of the Nigerian police

« The Forum accepts the establishment of this independent panel by the National Human Rights Commission in the next week – an open call for notes from members of the public whose rights have been violated by the late SARS and other segments of the Police will be released by the commission within a week

« Forum recommends psychological assessment, training and retraining of disbanded SARS officials prior to their redeployment

“The Forum decides to set up the following technical sub-committees to design an implementation roadmap and a work plan for the implementation of the White Paper: training, capacity and reorientation; Logistics: infrastructure, communications and technology; Arrest, detention and investigations; Regulation, supervision and liability and funding and partnerships «  »

The statement said the subcommittees would be supported by the National Human Rights Commission and other civil society organizations

Adesina said the commission of the Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Services was also present at the meeting which claimed that the five-point demands of the protesters and the #ENDSARS movement are real concerns and will be addressed by the government

Meanwhile, IG Adamu has put in place a new police team to take over from the dissolved SARS
It is known as the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and will fill in the gaps resulting from the disbandment of the late SARS

Pursuant to section 18 (10) of the Police Act 2020, the IG ordered all personnel of the late SARS to report to the force headquarters in Abuja for a debriefing, psychological examination and medical

A statement from Force Public Relations Officer DCP Frank Mba said: « Officers should go through this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed to traditional police duties. »

Mba added: “The medical examination will be carried out by the newly created Police Counseling and Support Unit (PCSU), which will now be responsible for psychological management, reorientation and training of police officers. Force officers deployed for tactical operations and other tasks

He said SWAT members will start training at various police tactical training institutions across the country next week

He said staff from the Southeast and South-South Police Commands would be trained at the Nonwa-Tai Counterterrorism College in Rivers State, while those from the North and South Police Command Southwest will be trained at the Mobile Police Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State, and the Mobile Police Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Southwestern State, respectively. ‘Osun

The Nigerian military brutalized and injured scores of EndSARS protesters yesterday in the Tri-Arm area in Abuja

The protesters were manhandled by soldiers stationed at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers in Eagle Square, when they attempted to walk to the National Assembly to present their grouse to lawmakers, who were in plenary session

The tension mounted as the protesters, who had previously marched to Eagle Square, crossed the National Assembly side of the Three Arms Zone and approached the outer gate before being repulsed by the soldiers fierce-looking numbered about 10

In the heat of the moment, dozens of protesters were beaten for challenging the order of the soldiers, who asked them to leave the open space

The soldiers also manhandled an ARISE NEWS Channel cameraman for filming the protest and also seized his HD digital camera, the second ARISE NEWS camera to be seized by security officers in the last 48 hours of coverage of the #EndSARS event in the FCT

However, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday joined many voices condemning the police brutality of citizens during the peaceful protest of the extrajudicial activities of the Nigerian police and other security agencies

NBA President M Olumide Akpata, during a press briefing in Abuja, said the body could not be left out in situations like this because history records the roles and activities played by individuals and groups , adding that the body wished to be on the right side of history

Akpata, who condemned protesters’ crackdown on #EndSARS and police reforms, said government at all levels must recognize the protest as inalienable rights of citizens which must not only be guaranteed but respected at any time

While warning that the corps will not tolerate the use of live weapons and ammunition against peaceful and legitimate protesters, he urged government and law enforcement authorities to bring any officer found guilty to justice

Akpata said: “We call on governments at all levels to protect the rights of citizens participating in peaceful protests across the country and to order security agencies to stop assaulting, attacking, abusing or harass or use force against citizens who make their voices heard through a peaceful protest « 

He called for a fast track auditor at the various SARS detention centers across the country, particularly in Awkuzu in Anambra State, « the infamous Abuja human slaughterhouse and the famous detention centers SARS in Lagos, Port Harcourt and other parts of the country »

The Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello, also identified yesterday with the demonstrators, calling for an end to uncivilized behavior of certain bad elements within the police

Speaking to reporters at Government House in Lokoja yesterday, Bello explained that the appeal made by young Nigerians was very appropriate at this critical time

The protest hit Akure, Ondo State, as young people gathered in the streets, simultaneously in three different towns in Sun State

In Yola, the Adamawa State Police dispersed a group of young people, who converged to protest the brutality of SARS against young people across the country

One of the protest organizers told THISDAY that the protest was aimed at ending police brutality and assaults on young people across the country

« We wrote to the police our intention to demonstrate today, but we were just gathering for the protest when the police commissioner sent some of his men to disperse us, » he said. p>

In Port Harcourt, thousands of demonstrators defied the Rivers State government’s ban on all forms of protests and marched on some roads in Port Harcourt before sieging Government House
#EndSARS protesters also vowed not to leave the government gate until Governor Nyesom Wike comes to speak to them

The governor of Rivers State then addressed the protesters and called for total police reform, not just SARS

Canadian-American musician Celine Marie Dion has joined the league of international superstars who have sent messages of camaraderie to Nigerian citizens

“My heart melts after reading what is happening in Nigeria… # EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality,” said Celine Dion

Led by activists and young leaders, they split in two As the group launched the protest at the Iwo-road interchange and headed towards Agodi Gate to the Secretary of State, the other group converged in front of the door of the University of Ibadan and walked through the Bodija market to the Secretariat

In Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu joined the demonstrators who had invaded the premises of Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja

Reiterating his support for their demands, he received a signed letter in which they listed their demands to the government and the police hierarchy on how to follow up with the dismantling of the SARS unit and an end to the brutalities policewomen

Besides Alausa, protesters also invaded areas such as Lekki tollgate, FESTAC town, Amuwo Odofin, Abule Egba and Yaba

Other regions include Oyingbo, Surulere, Ebute Metta, Oshodi, Mushin, Ketu, Ogba, Maryland, Ikeja, Chevron, Ajah and Ajegunle

However, Sanwo-Olu announced the establishment of a 200 million naira fund to compensate the families of the victims of the Anti-Theft Task Force (SARS) killings

According to him, the compensation fund will be fully supervised by civil society organizations (CSOs) nominated by members of the public

Also the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, also pledged that lawmakers will make adequate provision for victim compensation in the 2021 budget

On a related note, former President Goodluck Jonathan sued for detention yesterday as protests continued to spread across the country

The former president in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, said: « I implore everyone to show restraint as we go through these difficult times »

The former president stressed that no Nigerian life should be lost in peaceful protests He said this in a message he posted on his social media accounts

The message read: « No Nigerian blood should be shed and no life lost in a peaceful protest that seeks to move our country forward. We may have different views on national issues, but it makes no difference. doubt most people desire the same for Nigeria: a place where we can all live the full potential of our God-given abilities

End SARS, Protests and Nigerian Police Force, Muhammadu Buhari

News from around the world – CA – Presidential committee accepts protesters’ five point demand #EndSARS – THISDAYLIVE


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