A former Military Governor of old Western Region, Major General David Jemibewon (retd.) has tasked the military authorities over the indictment of the Nigerian Army in the EndSARS Lekki Toll gate killings,just as some retired generals have called for a deep scrutiny by the Lagos judicial panel investigating allegations of police brutality levelled against SARS personnel and the Lekki tollgate incident, given evidence on account of a report by the Cable News Network.
The generals noted that if necessary, the panel should invite the military and other parties to speak on the new evidence.
The CNN report revealed that expended Serbian ammunition, allegedly fired by the soldiers, were picked from the scene of the incident.
The report said, “CNN has examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings match those used by the army. Two ballistics experts have also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks.
“And working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN has established that several of the bullets from the Lekki tollgate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.”
One of the generals, a former Provost Marshal of the Army, Brig Gen Idada Ikponwmen (retd.), said the panel should be thorough in its investigation based on the facts and the law.
Ikponwmen said, “I think the original scope of the panel still covers whatever evidence we are getting. I don’t think there is a need for a new panel. There should be evidence before the panel. Those who are saying that they found this and that should be able to establish them before the panel.
“The panel is empowered to invite anybody, based on whatever new evidence, to clear the air. The panel is not just to look at facts alone; they should also look at the evidence in view of the law; how do you engage the military in a law enforcement role; what does the constitution say?
“We are already aware of the inconsistent statements or positions from the various parties; the governor, the army and all that. The panel should be able to look into all those things. It is not just about the bullets on the ground; how did they get there? The panel should be able to ascertain the facts and the relevant laws and see whether everyone acted properly or there were shortcomings.”
Also, a former Military Governor of old Western Region, Major General David Jemibewon (retd.), said the soldiers deployed in the Lekki tollgate area that night should be made to account for every bullet given to them, in line with military ethics.
He added, “It depends on the experience and knowledge of those who constitute the panel. It is very important. Of course, whosoever makes an allegation must have evidence to support the allegations he made. So, normally as those things, if soldiers were called to a situation like that, they should also collect the empty shells of whatever ammunition they expended.
“What I would advise is that proper investigation must be conducted. If you allege that someone was killed, it is either they show the dead body or show empty shells, being the expended part of the ammunition. This is because they would use as evidence that certainly these bullets were fired.
“We should know how many soldiers were sent out and how many rounds of ammunition they had with them. This is because each soldier would be given a certain number of rounds of ammunition and when they come back, they must account for every ammunition. If they gave you five rounds and you say you have fired one round, you must return four rounds.
“I wouldn’t know whether they still follow that, or whether the members of the panel really understand this. This is what we were taught when I was still there (in the military).”
Also, Major General Obi Umahi (retd.), said, “It is as straightforward as that it is; just to confirm or investigate whether any of the services has ever brought in bullets made in Serbia; whether any of the weapons includes armaments from Serbia. That could just be a quick lead. So, you can’t say it is this service or that service until after the report establishes that.
*Additional report from The Punch
BUA SUGAR REFINERY LATEST: TRADE & INDUSTRIES MINISTER ADEBAYO REVERSES EARLIER DIRECTIVE ON SUGAR IMPORTATION FROM FREE TRADE ZONES INTO NIGERIA
Days after, sending out an earlier letter to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed prohibition the importation of sugar from free trade zones, in Nigeria, the Minister of Trade Industries and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has backtracked and reversed himself.
Adebayo, acting on a controversial petition written to him by the Chairman Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote and Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Mr John Coumatros had written a letter which he copied the Managing Director Nigeria Ports Authority, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation prohibiting the importation of sugar from the country’s Free Trade Zones. This move was targeted at BUA sugar refinery as well as investments.
Recall that BUA Group Chairman, Samad Rabiu had reacted to the petition by revealing that his investments in sugar, especially the Port Harcourt project did not pose any threat to the country’s sugar policy. According to Samad Rabiu, his was project indeed, meant to checkmate arbitrary increase in prices and which will ultimately benefit the ordinary Nigerian on the street.
Curiously, some agencies of the Federal Government especially the NPA, had acted on the Minister’s directive by directing all Terminal operators to ensure strict compliance with the Minister’s order, despite a court injunction refraining not only the Ministry but all government agencies from disturbing it’s operations pending the determination of a suit filed by BUA group.
The move to disrupt BUA’s activities depsite the injunction clearly embarrassed the government, hence Adebayo’s quick reversal of his earlier stance and letter to the Finance Minister directing that the action be stopped.
As for Hadiza Bala Usman who was in a hurry to overlook the court order, she has since been suspended from office as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority while an Acting CEO has been appointed in person of Mohammed Koko, the erstwhile Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
THE COMPLICITY OF NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER IN CORRUPTION AND BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA STATE
During the 8-year reign of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State , there is hardly a week the state is not in the news for either killings of scores of Zamfarans or kidnapping of them in large numbers. So bad it was during his tenure that the only presence of security is the escort services provided by security agents for workers on Yari’s farm.
It is despicable and rather unfortunate that a man who is battling to clear his name from many allegations of fraud and unprecedented corruption in Zamfara is seen flying around in a Nigerian Airforce Jet.
Mungono’s lackluster performance to rejig the security architecture which has led to breakdown of law and order has portrayed the Presidency in bad light as failing in its duty to provide security and welfare of its citizenry.
The approval of the use of NAF jet by Abdulaziz Yari which allegedly came from the office of the National Security Adviser further lent credence to the claims among Nigerians that the APC-led government is not serious about fighting corruption and insecurity.
Assuming without conceding that Yari facilitated the use of the aircraft on his own, one wonders an emergency situation that would warrant a former governor enjoying such luxury even when the allegations of corrupt enrichment is still hanging on his neck.
The National Security Adviser has yet again confirm the call for his removal over incompetence and that the reason for his call and advise for the declaration for a “No fly Zone” in Zamfara is unprofessional, partisan and may not be to secure the country as he would want people to believe.
By Hamid Shinkafi
Public affair analyst
Rural Resident Expresses Satisfaction On Jumia Service Delivery
At the current pace, there’s no denying the improved fortune of eCommerce in Africa. Even the most ardent doubters of eCommerce viability on the continent will accept that the online shopping business is gaining momentum on the continent, contrary to their forecast and expectations.
Major African markets like Nigeria and Kenya are improving their internet penetration while the number of mobile phone users is rising exponentially. This, in turn, is boosting the online market entrants in urban locations and gradually rubbing off on rural settlements.
As a result, the conversation around eCommerce in a major market like Nigeria has gravitated from doubts on feasibility and acceptance to quality of service delivery, customers expectations and satisfaction. With at least 87 e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, the online shopping community is increasing by the day with innovation and bespoke approaches to address the challenges of the market and meet customers expectations.
In the thick of this, some customers are already having a glimpse of what eCommerce offers at its peak, thanks to the effort of key market players. Iteshi Prince Izuchukwu, a businessman based in Rivers State said he likes shopping online because of the price slash. Based on his experience with several online shopping platforms, he was quick to acknowledge the extra effort of Africa’s market leader on its quality of service delivery. “Things I order include Television, Wristwatches and others. When I buy these items on Jumia, they deliver on time and in good condition,” he stated.
In today’s market where customers demand value for every penny spent, a well thought out packaging that meets the aesthetic taste of the customers can spell a huge impact on the eCommerce business. It can help reduce the volume and cost of return, foster customer loyalty and put the brand in the face of prospects. “I always feel happy when what I ordered is being delivered to me. And as a businessman, I want value for money which I can say I am getting on a platform like Jumia,” Izuchukwu said.
With continuous effort by eCommerce brands to meet customers’ quality, timely and packaging expectations in their service delivery, testimonials like this will go a long way in getting more people onboard the online shopping train.
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