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Review: “Nigeria is Not a Country of Justice” – Liborous Oshoma

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“Nigeria is not a country of justice. Nigeria is a country where the rule of law is observed in the breach by those who are meant to protect the rule of law.” was Public affairs analyst, Liborous Oshoma’s response when asked what would be the outcome of the Lagos state judicial panel set up to investigate the killings of #Endsars protesters at the Lekki toll gate in October 2020.

Months ago, following the chaos and violence that erupted from the #EndSARS protests, judicial panels were set up across the 36 Nigerian states as part of the demands to signify that the federal government was committed to the eradication of police brutality.

Over 2,500 petitions have been received by the various panels. The panel that everyone has kept an eye on is the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters.

The panel has now approved returning control of the Lekki Toll Gate plaza to its owners, the Lekki Concession Company, LCC. who had appealed to the panel to allow it to take over the plaza for repair and insurance claims but this was declined by the panel since investigations into incidents l leading to the closure were still being investigated.

On Saturday, February 6, the chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okwuobi, granted the request of LCC and handed the toll plaza to them. The youth representatives, as well as one of the lawyers on the panel, voted against the handing over.

On Breakfast Central, Liborous had a chat with Olisa Chukwumah and Tolulope Adeleru- Balogun on his thoughts about the panel’s decison.

He agreed with the fact that the state government does not have the power to set up the panel, explaining that according to the Lagos state power of inquiry laws it gives powers to set up inquiries for chieftaincy, Local government affairs, and areas where the governor has powers to legislate on.

The Federal Government should rather have collaborated with the national human rights commission because they are the ones who have the right to look into these issues.

This could have being avoided; explanations should have been given on reasons for the sudden change because people believed from the beginning that the government was not entirely interested in the panel but rather set up the panel because people asked for it.

“I still see this panel as a way of keeping us busy, it is like since you want a panel, here it is” Liborous said.

“Not Reopening the #Lekkitollgate is very far-fetched, but maybe they could set up monuments of the event as a remembrance of the events of that day”

Another thing is, if repairs and rebuilding are to commence, there would be pressure on motorists and traffic gridlocks.

Liborous concluded by saying that the panel would not be different from the other panels which didnt have any major effect that brought change.

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Nigeria Ports Authority Commences Electronic Call Up System

The NPA also stated that about 7000 trucks have been certified fit for the proposed digitalised call up system. Henceforth, in order to access the ports, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code.

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As part of efforts aimed at finding a permanent solution to truck congestion around Apapa and its environs, the Nigerian Ports Authority has commenced the Electronic Truck call-up system designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos.

With effect from today 27th February 2021, the ETO app will be responsible for the scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks into the ports.

According to the NPA, about 7000 trucks have been certified fit for the proposed digitalised call up system.

Henceforth, in order to access the ports, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code.

Players in the maritime sector have expressed optimism toward the commencement of the electronic call-up system, saying it will improve access and reduce corruption.

One of the executives of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa said the call-up system will put an end to artificial bottlenecks on the port access road.

Speaking further, the National Vice president, Association of Nigerian Liscenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto asked the NPA management to be steadfast in enforcing the call-up system.

Farinto said the ongoing repairs on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway must also be completed in good time for the call-up system to be effective.

“The road should be put in adequate place because there is nothing the call-up can achieve without a proper port access road.” he said.

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Zamfara, Kano States Close Schools After Schoolgirls Abduction

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Following the abduction of more than 300 school girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata-Mafara Local Government Area, the Zamfara State government has ordered the closure of all boarding schools in the state.

In the same vein, the Kano State government has closed down twelve schools in reaction to the rise in abductions in the region.

Zamfara State Governor Matawalle, in a broadcast on Friday evening expressed his sympathies with the affected families and said he’s in communication with security agencies to secure the release of the students.

He said helicopters have been deployed to help the rescue mission, while he appealed to the parents of the abducted girls to be more patient.

Matawalle said the disarmament operation going on in the state will continue as the continuous availability of weapons to rogues makes security more challenging to achieve.

Nigeria has recorded the abduction of more than 1,000 students since 2014, with two major abductions of school pupils already recorded in February 2021.

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Togo Bribe Scandal: French Group Fined $14.55M, Industrialist on Trial

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Vincent Bollore, a French industrialist, businessman, media owner and billionaire, will go on trial over bribery allegations involving a Togolese official, a court in Paris has ruled.

Also, the court fined the Bollore Group $14.55 million over the case, which involves the bribing of an official in Togo to win a contract to run the port of Lomé a decade ago.

Bolloré, Gilles Alix, managing director of the Bolloré group and Jean-Philippe Dorent, international director of the Havas agency, a subsidiary of Bolloré, had accepted an appearance on prior admission of guilt (CRPC, a sort of “plead guilty” at the French) and the payment of a fine of $450,000.

However, the judge in Paris ruled that the corruption trial of a leading French industrialist should go ahead, despite his guilty plea.

The court decided that the case against Bolloré was so serious that it should not be settled, as agreed with prosecutors, with a $450,000 fine.

Jean-François Bohnert, in a statement on Friday, said Bollore Group will pay a 12 million-euro ($14.55 million) fine following a transaction with prosecutors in the alleged bribery case.

The transaction effectively puts an end to the legal proceedings in the case against the conglomerate.

“The investigation had concerned the corruption of foreign public officials, abuse of trust and complicity in breaches of trust committed between 2009 and 2011,” the financial prosecutor said.

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