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Photos: Traffic Gridlock As Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protesters Block Lagos-Ibadan Expressway2 minutes read

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The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is currently on a standstill after #EndSARS protesters took over the ever-busy road linking several states to Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos State.

Protests have continued for over a week as Nigerians call for an end to police brutality across major cities in the country.

Although the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has disbanded the rogue Special Anti-Terror Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force, protesters want an assurance that their demands will be duly attended to.

The IGP has replaced SARS with the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, a move several Nigerians see as putting old wine in new bottles.

Apart from a two-minute video shared on Twitter, the country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator, is yet to give a nationwide address on the protests.

Here are photos from the #EndSARS protests at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway:

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Zamfara Governor Gets Honorary Doctorate Degree From Togolese University

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The University of Science, Administration and Commerce, Lomé, Republic of Togo, on Saturday conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in ‘Leadership and Administration’ on Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.

The Director-General of Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications to the Governor, Malam Yusuf Idris, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Gusau on Saturday.

Idris said the award was received by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr Bashir Maru, who led a high-powered delegation of four persons to Lome for the event.

He stated that the conferment of the Doctor Honoris Causa on Matawalle was in recognition of the “governor’s passion, commitment and great enthusiasm in providing strategic leadership and selfless service to the people of the state and the Nigerian nation in general.”

He said while thanking the institution’s Governing Council and its management for finding him worthy of the award, Gov. Matawalle offered to explore more areas of cooperation with the university.

According to the statement, the governor also said that his administration had in the 17 months of its inception, vigorously pursued the enthronement of peace in the state which was hitherto characterised by banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other criminal activities.

“Matawalle observed that the recognition and conferment of the Honorary Doctorate Decree on his person may have drawn impetus from his efforts in the return of peace and other legal business and social activities in the state which have now made it attractive to investors within and outside the state.

“He informed the gathering that Zamfara accounts for a very large percentage of Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and will be willing to do genuine business with investors,” it said.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr Innocent Kagara, said the institution decided the honour only two persons in 2020 with Honorary Doctorate Degree as they had distinguished themselves in leadership qualities the world over.

Kagara said that the university had been watching with keen interest the level of progress being made in Zamfara since the inception of Gov. Matawalle’s administration.

He said that the institution appreciated the giant strides the governor was making to diversify the entire African economy from over-dependence on oil to mining which will boost the region’s economic status.

Presenting the certificate to the governor on behalf of the university, Dr Hamman Mensa, the institution’s Registrar, said the award given was based on excellence and hardwork in leadership.

The other members of the delegation that received the award on behalf of their principal were the State Commissioner of Special Duties, Alhaji Muhammad Maiturare, the Principal Private Secretary to the governor, Alhaji Lawal Maradun and the Director-General of Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications to the Governor, Malam Yusuf Idris.

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US Forces Rescue American Kidnapped In Niger

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The United States’ SEAL Team 6 has rescued Philip Walton, 27, who was kidnapped earlier this week in Niger and held hostage in northern Nigeria.

Walton, who kept camels, sheep and poultry and grew mangoes near the border with Nigeria, was kidnapped on Tuesday by six men armed with AK-47 assault rifles who arrived on motorcycles at his home in southern Niger’s Massalata village early on Tuesday.

His wife, young daughter and brother were left behind.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in a statement on Saturday said, “U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men.

“This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation.

“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”

The mission, which was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 who were flown to the region by Air Force special operations, a US official with knowledge of the operation told CNN.

The US forces who conducted the mission killed six of the seven captors, the official said.

The US believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region and were more likely bandits seeking money.

Niger, like much of West Africa’s Sahel region, faces a deepening security crisis as groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State carry out attacks on the army and civilians, despite help from French and U.S. forces.

Four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger in 2017, sparking debate about the United States’ role in the sparsely populated West African desert that is home to some of the world’s poorest countries.

At least six foreign hostages are being held by Islamist insurgents in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Islamists have collected millions of dollars in ransom payments in recent years. The U.S. government has frequently criticized other countries for paying.

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SARS Men Tortured Me Till My Two Months Pregnancy Aborted – Nigerian Schoolteacher

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A Nigerian school teacher, Obiechina Ndubuisi, on Saturday, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters how men of the now-disbanded rogue police unit – Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) – arrested and tortured her till she lost her two months pregnancy.

Mrs Ndubuisi said the incident happened in 2017, adding that the SARS personnel had arrested her on a bogus allegation of being a thief and a kidnapper.

Mrs Ndubuisi identified some of her torturers as “Phillip Rilwan, Christian and Haruna Idowu”. She said her ordeal at the hands of the trio lasted 22 days.

She said men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) also stole her husband’s N50,000 and compelled them to cough up N400,000 as bail, before they were freed.

She told the panel that the couple sued the Police at the Federal High Court in Lagos and won.

Justice Mohammed Idris ordered the Police to pay them N2million as compensation.

They also won on appeal but the Police refused to comply.

She said, “On June 1, 2017, I received a text message from an unknown number that I had a parcel from DHL. A caller using different numbers asked for my home or office address and I gave him my school address upon my husband’s advice.

“The following day, I saw a black jeep with huge men inside it. One of them was in a DHL uniform. Immediately, they approached me, they started beating me. They said I should enter inside. They said I was a thief, an armed robber. The one in the DHL uniform removed it. My HM (headmistress) was peeping at us. I said let me go and tell her. They said no.

“I said my kid is there, they said no, that I should follow them, that my kid would die there.

“My HM came to the gate; they pointed a gun at me. She asked what was going on. They said, ‘This woman is a thief, a kidnapper. She must follow us and go. They said they were Police, SARS’.

“They pushed me inside the car and moved. The men were slapping, beating me. I was two months pregnant. I started vomiting. That’s when they found out I was pregnant. But they kept torturing me. I told them I did not know the suspect.

“They took me to their office at Ikeja. They took me to a shrine. They hanged me, beat me. They said they would force my baby out of me. They said I must produce the person or die there.”

Continuing she said, “At 3 pm, they brought me out I said they should allow me to call my husband so that he would know where I was, I also told them that I have a 5-year-old child in a school that I need to call someone to take the child home, they refused.

“Later I was allowed to talk to my husband, but the phone was on the loudspeaker, it was one of the SARS men, Christian that put the phone on speaker, my husband said he had looked for me everywhere, that the proprietress told him that some policemen arrested me.

“When my husband came to area F, Keeps field, they started beating him and put a tyre on his neck, and said that they will kill him like others that he is a thief. They hit my husband’s head with the butt of a gun  and also hit his head with a stone, I was urinating on my body when all the torture was going on.

“Around 7 pm, they took us to Federal SARS at Ikeja and then gave my husband his phone so he called our pastor and I was also allowed to call a co-teacher friend to help me take care of the child, they said the child should die there. We spent three weeks in the cell under open roof and rain was beating us, we slept on the floor and as a pregnant woman, I didn’t eat anything, at night they would come and take me upstairs on interrogation, because of the stress and torture, I lost the two months pregnancy.”

“I got pregnant again the second time after we were released so on Sunday, while we were preparing to go to Church, they came again to arrest my husband and Philip Rieninwa, said that the order was from Abba Kyari, I pleaded with them to allow my husband dress up because he was on boxers, but they refused and took him away.

“When I couldn’t get through to my husband after one week, then I contacted our lawyer and he said it is getting out of hand so he got an order from the Federal High court that he should be released immediately, and he then wrote to SARS, because of the stress and trauma that I went through, I lost the second pregnancy again.

“We were awarded the sum of N 2million, by the federal High court because of the brutality and trauma that SARS caused us, but up till now, we have not been given the compensation, we also appealed the judgement but the appeal court dismissed it, nothing has happened since then.

“SARS, also took the N50,000, that my husband brought to the place, we bailed ourselves with N400,000”.

Panel chair, Judge emeritus Doris Okuwobi, adjourned sitting to enable the mentioned operatives an opportunity to appear and respond to the allegations.

The Obiechinas’ testimony was the first of four petitions for the third day of sitting since the Lagos State Government set up the nine-member panel on October 15, following weeks of near nationwide #EndSARS protests.

The panel sitting is ongoing.

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