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British MP Writes UK Government Over Financial Support To Nigeria’s SARS3 minutes read

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Kate Osamor, a member of the British parliament representing Edmonton, has written to the United Kingdom Government to question and seek clarification on the nature of aid the country extends to Nigeria’s rogue police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

News Central reports that SARS had been disbanded following peaceful protests against the activities of the Nigeria Police Force unit.

Osamor’s letter sent to the UK government through the office of the Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs, called the attention of the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Mr Dominic Raab, to the nationwide protests in Nigeria in the past seven days against the excesses of SARS.

The letter was dated October 15, 2020.

She warned that further assistance be withheld and also called for an audit of what the previous aids were used for so that the UK Government agency would not be unintentionally supporting or facilitating the actions of an agency notorious for human rights violations.

The letter made available to ACE was written in a tone of caution to avoid a situation SARS got support from the agency without proper use.

Osamor’s letter cited that there have been 82 proven and documented incidents of torture, ill-treatment, extrajudicial executions and gross human rights abuses against SARS since January 2017 and cautioned it would be unthinkable that UK agency gives support to such body unless for training on proper conduct that respects human rights.

Osamor notified Raab that she wrote in her capacity as a member of a committee that superintends the agency.

She alerted that given the shady accountability process in the Nigerian agency, there might be the likelihood that UK might have been unknowingly providing support for an agency involved in the offences of abuses mentioned.

Her letter read, “I’m writing as a member of the International Development Select Committee and Chair of the Nigeria APPG to ask for some clarification regarding the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund project in Nigeria which is aimed at ‘increasing the capacity of Nigerian kidnap units to deliver anti-kidnap and kidnap response capacity’.

“I’m sure you will be aware of the recent protests against Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has been involved in at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution since January 2017.

“Given these concerns and concerns generally with the nature of corruption and brutality in Nigerian law enforcement, it is obviously extremely important that no UK development spending finds its way into the pockets of groups within Nigeria who are guilty of such crimes.

“For that reason, I’m very concerned about the UK development funds which have been invested in the “Nigeria Countering Organised Crime and Corruption” project and the lack of transparency when it comes to this project.

“In light of the lack of detail provided and the circumstances in Nigeria, there is a high risk that the NCA is providing supports to units implicated in the abuses I have mentioned above.

“I would therefore be grateful if you could confirm whether any funding or other kinds of support have, directly or indirectly, been given to the SARS unit.

“If support has been provided, can you confirm whether it was in the form or training, the provision of equipment, funding or another form of support?

“Can you confirm what due diligence and risk assessments were undertaken prior to the implementation of the project?

“What steps is your department taking to ensure that any support given by this Government to SARS did not facilitate abuses?”

The lawmaker’s letter comes amid days of unending demonstrations by #EndSARS protesters who demand a total overhaul of the police system and an end to extrajudicial killings by its men.

The protests have intensified despite the disbandment of the unit and the announcement of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) to replace it.

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COVID-19: Rwanda makes EU “safe list”

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Bernard Akede

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the European Union

According to a statement from the European Union Council on October 22, Rwanda has been listed by the European Union, among the countries on which Covid-19 travel restrictions into the EU territory should be gradually lifted.

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Some of the criteria which the European Union considers for lifting travel restrictions on third countries (countries that are not members of the EU as well as countries whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement) include their epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations.

Some of the other countries from which the restrictions have been lifted are Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Thailand, and New Zealand.

This now means that Rwanda is the only country in African to feature on the list.

The EU Council’s statement, however, indicates that this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

In addition, the statement also says that European Union Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.

To this end, the authorities of the member states are responsible for  implementing the content of the recommendation, where they may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards the listed countries.

In the past few weeks, Rwanda has been reporting progress in the fight against Covid-19. As of today, Rwanda has recorded a total of 5,062 cases of which 4,806 have recovered and 34 have died.

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Five Soldiers, Four Others Die In IPOB, Security Operatives Clash In Nigeria’s Rivers

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No fewer than nine people have died in Nigeria’s Rivers State during a clash between security operatives and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The clash, which occurred at Oyigbo and other parts of the state, was said to have claimed the lives of five soldiers and four IPOB members.

The soldiers were part of a joint security team – which included some policemen – deployed to quell IPOB activities in Oyigbo, Rumuokwurusi and other flashpoints areas.

The IPOB members were said to have engaged the security team in a shoot-out from Thursday night till Friday morning.

Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, had on Friday condemned IPOB activities despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on the Oyigbo council area.

“We were all witnesses to yet another orgy of violence and destruction inflicted by IPOB at Oyigbo Local Government Area and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, October 20, 2020,” the governor said, adding: “This evil, wicked and audacious action resulted in the unnecessary loss of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, police stations, court buildings and business premises.”

Meanwhile, the state police command said two cops were killed, four police stations burnt and over 50 vehicles set ablaze by suspected IPOB members who attacked the Oyigbo community and other areas in the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, stated this when he led commanders of other security agencies in the state to the Oyigbo council area on Saturday.

In a statement by the spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, the CP had ordered a full scale investigation into the incident with a view to appending and prosecuting the culprits.

The statement stated, “The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan today (Saturday) led commanders of the sister security agencies in the state to Oyigbo council area where hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB under the guise of #EndSARS protests invaded Oyigbo Area Command, Oyigbo, Afam and Umuebulu Police stations where they attacked the policemen on duty and burnt down the four police formations.

“In the course of the attacks, over 50 vehicles were burnt, including one Armoured Personnel Carrier, killing two policemen who were hacked to death and set ablaze.”

Mukan condemned the attack on public and private property, describing it as ‘ill-conceived, most unfortunate and an ill wind that would blow no one any good,’ while condoling with the families of the slain operatives.

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Mob Drags Kenyan Man From Hospital Bed, Lynches Him For Allegedly Stealing Motorcycles

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A Kenyan man has allegedly been lynched for allegedly stealing motorcyles.

According to local reports, the mob had on Saturday stormed the Kimbimbi Sub-county hospital in Kirinyaga area of the East African country, dragged the man from his hospital bed, killed and set his remains on fire.

Kirinyaga East DCIO, Millicent Ochuka said the deceased was “suspected to be behind the theft of five motorcycles”.

He was undergoing treatment at the hospital after he sustained serious injuries from a mob beating on Thursday night for the alleged theft.

“What we have gathered is that he was beaten then compelled to confess to bodaboda riders on where he hid the stolen bikes,” said the area DCIO.

“He was later freed and taken to hospital for treatment.”

The riders regrouped the following day (Friday) after failing to find the bikes from the hideout they had been directed to and returned to the hospital to abduct the suspect.

Ochuka believes the assailants overpowered the hospital’s security guards and carried off the patient out for lynching.

She however said the hospital has not reported to police on the patient’s abduction.

“We will seek information from the hospital to establish if indeed he (suspect) was forcefully taken from the facility so we can get his identity,” said the DCIO.

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