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#EndSARS: The Days of Fury and Fire



By Eric Elezuo

The last few days could very well be described as some of the darkest days in the history of the geographical entity called Nigeria. The country, especially its commercial city, Lagos, has witnessed the worst form of degradation following extensive destruction and looting of public facilities. During these periods, hoodlums, who capitalised on the peacefully conducted #EndSARS protests, have torched and looted banking institutions, the judiciary, security outfits, hospitality industry, the media among many other revered institutions. This is not forgetting the traditional stool of the Oba of Lagos.

The first one week of the protests, which started as a mild joke on Twitter, saw Nigerian youths weaponising their voices and confidence, converting their determination to see a new Nigeria into boldness, and consequently took to the streets to drive home their points in protests against incessant harassments, torture and killings being perpetrated by the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and the Police Force in general.

The protests practically spread throughout the length and breath of the country from its initial base, Lagos, sending jitters down the spine of those in authority. it is worthy of note that in the short space of time the protests lasted, the government took far reaching decisions including scrapping of SARS, agreeing to pay the Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) earned allowance to the tune of N40 billion and reopening of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps.

But the scrapping of the unpopular police outfit, SARS, following the killing of a youth in Delta State, by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Nigerian youths held their ground, and stayed put on the streets protesting. They made it clear that #EndSARS was a metaphor for the many inanities going on in the country. More so, they felt that the government was not sincere as it hastily changed SARS to Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).

In between, the youths made a five-point demand including:

  • Immediate release of all arrested protesters
  • Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensations for their families.
  • Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reported police misconduct within a period of 10 days
  • Carrying out psychological evaluation and retaining of all disbanded SARS operatives before they can deployed (this should be verified by an independent body).
  • The government should increase police salary and they should adequately compensated for protecting lives and property of the citizens
But much as government agreed to fulfill these demands, the youths stayed put in the streets. #EndSARS protests is just an umbrella body to introduce the massive rot that has so far engulfed the Nigerian body polity.
Despite entreaties by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the youths stayed on the streets across the nation.

“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” the Vice President apologised.

He followed up his apologies with the setting up of judicial panels of inquiry in all states of the federation to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings. The police authorities went ahead to sack about 37 former SARS officers and demoted another 29, but the protesters still have other demands. These include the prosecution of killer cops, the release of all protesters in detention and the total overhaul of the police.

In all these, the protests, supervised by the youths without what one would call authentic leadership, gained global recognition. It received a fuller force after the Police in a broadcast by its Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, announced a replacement, called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. The announcement of the SWAT replacement was like the fire that reprogrammed the agitation. The protesters alleged that they had been taken for granted. That instead of acceding to the demands of ending the existence of the outfit, the authorities embarked on name change.

Ever since, they remained on the street, disrupting economic activities and restricting vehicular movements around the metropolis. However, the protests remained relatively peaceful, was applauded by all and sundry, including global figures.

But things began to go awry when skirmishes reared its head as ‘hired’ hoodlums, attempted to violently disrupt protests in Abuja and Lagos. The hoodlums, who were well co-ordinated were sighted boarding luxurious SUVs, and being patronised by men purported to be secret service agents. However, unconfirmed reports have said that the men sponsoring the thugs were aides to a ‘senator’. They acted brazenly, attacking with the ferocity of one who has a backing, killing and maiming.

The #EndSARS protesters however, continued in different parts of the country, repelling attacks from thugs and security agents, using private bouncers and dogs. In Lagos, two people were crushed to death during the protest in the Alagbado area of the state. The victims were identified as Ojo Azeez, 27; and Yusuf Sodia, 26.

While the demonstration was on in the Ikeja area around 8am, hoodlums, suspected to be members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, invaded the protest ground, armed with cutlasses and axes and injured several protesters. They were also said to have vandalised vehicles in a bid to disperse the crowd. Some of the hoodlums were alleged to have been conveyed to the scene in a government-owned bus. But Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of the BRT vehicle alleged to have conveyed the hoodlums to the protest ground, denied knowing anything about it.

It is worthy of note that most governors lent their voices to the demands of the youths, and appearing in person to join the mass movement. Some of them are Kwara State governor, Abdulraman Abdullahi, Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, who initially banned the protest in the state, but recanted after coming under heavy backlash.

But again, things took a different turn when a jailbreak was experienced in Benin (White House) Prison, supervised by hoodlums, who had hijacked the protest after burning down a police station. The jailbreak released close to 2000 inmates, leading to a declaration of 24 hours curfew by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

That was the prompt the hooligans, especially those in Lagos needed to unleash a world of terror on residents. As a result, by midday on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, untold mayhem had been released on Lagosians.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command, Muyiwa Adejobi, listed the property to have been destroyed, to include Orile police station, Layeni Police Station, Amukoko Police Station and Cele outpost, under Ijesha division which were burnt. He noted that Mushin Police Division and Ilembe Hausa Police Division were attacked.

Other facilities torched according to Adejobi on Tuesday were Lagoon Hospital at Apapa and Ajeromi Ifelodun local government secretariat. These attacks were not without human casualties as unconfirmed number of police personnel were murdered.

The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu followed the footsteps of his Edo counterpart, and announced a 24 hours curfew in the state, originally scheduled to kick off at 4pm on Tuesday, but later moved to 9pm.

But prior to the time, sporadic shootings by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate area of Lagos was heard. The attack on the peaceful protesters had ignited reaction from world leaders, who condemned the action of the Nigerian military. Much as fatalities were recorded contrary to the broadcast of Sanwo-Olu shortly after, no particular number of the dead has been agreed upon. The army has also denied being behind the attack, and so has Lagos State government.

The soldiers reportedly took over the Lekki tollgate where the #EndSARS protesters had been holding their rally since the protest began last week, forcing hundreds to scamper to safety. While a celebrity, DJ Switch, who broadcasted the attack live via Instagram, say a total of 78 persons lost their lives on the night, Amnesty International accused the Nigerian Army of killing and taking away 12 bodies. Many had tagged the day Black Tuesday.

Reacting to what many Nigerians tagged #LekkiMassacre, the author of Never An After Thought, Mr. Afolabi Imoukuede frowned at the shooting, saying that the devastation and mental torture associated with the action can only be imagined. He lamented a situation security operatives would choose to shoot at innocent civilians with live ammunition.

Hear said: “Dear Younger Me (2) Black Tuesday – 20.10.2020 otherwise known as #LekkiMassacre is devastating to me, to you and should be to every well meaning individual. I never imagined that I would ever live to see a day wherein our security apparatus would under any guise at all shoot live ammunitions on unarmed, defenseless, peaceful protesters, sitting on the floor, singing the national anthem & waving their flag at the Lekki Toll. It is even more painful that the reason for the protest was for #EndSARS a rallying cry to Mr. President and every other elected official across all three tiers of government to #EndPoliceBrutality alas the response was to bring out the military to shoot at us as a sign of strength 

“The devastation and the mental torture can only be imagined. My younger me, please take time out to soak it in, process it, cry it out, & mourn with my fellow brothers & sisters, parents & family who lost loved ones in this #EndSARS struggle. Our beauty must rise from these ashes. This moment is our rallying cry for our collective humanity. It is clear to me that this is strictly a war of EVIL vs GOOD. It is not about our tribe, gender, partisan politics, the police, army etc. 

Speaking to the Boss, the COO/Creative Brand Director. TPS LUXURY, Princess Debo Odutola, applauded the youths for daring the impossible. She noted that it was because of the government’s penchant for treating its citizens with disdain that prompted the mistrust that made the youths stayed longer on the streets.

She capitulated as follows: “First and Foremost, I would like to commend the efforts of our youths, they took the bull by the horns and came out to fight for a course they believed in. The protest was peaceful and seamless. The youths exhibited the millennials in them, technically.

“Each day for them was the new beginning for a new Nigeria, they presented a five point request but because it has become a norm for government to treat its citizens with so much disdain, their tenacity was at its highest, I salute their doggedness!

“The unfortunate turn of events on Tuesday 7.11pm, shook me to my marrows, never in the history of protests in Nigeria have I seen such inhuman, callous and wicked reaction from government I’m still short of words!
Analysing the entire event from the beginning of the protest to the end, never at any point, pointed to such a bloody climax.

“How do you explain to your grandchildren that as soldiers, you led a team to shoot peaceful protesters in your time. I need someone to wake me from this deep slumber. In all of this, I take solace in the words of the Bible, that vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will revenge, and I assure you that God will fight for this innocent children whose blood was shed for us to have a better Nigeria.

“I commiserate with all those who were injured and especially those who lost their loved ones that God will give them the fortitude to bear the painful loss.

“My advice for our youths is this, we’re in a technical age, let’s leverage on this to continue to fight for our rights. The pen, they say, is mightier than the gun, but now I know social media is mightier than the gun. Please channel your energy positively.”

A former governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, dismissed the Lekki shooting as an irony, noting that “Our young peoples protest against police brutality being brutally put down by excessive force…the very thing they are peacefully protesting about. When will we break this vicious circle? Shameful!”


That was the beginning of the siege; the long days of fury and fire. What followed the next day made caricature of the Lekki shooting saga. The first target was the Lekki Tollgate itself, which was razed to the ground. Not assuaged, the hoodlums also burnt down a GTBank on Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase one, and followed it up the burning of the high profile Oriental Hotel also in Lekki.

The hoodlums were not done; they attacked and set ablaze many other public and private institutions, including Television Continental; The Nation Newspapers; the Nigerian Ports Authority office in Marina; local government secretariats in Apapa-Iganmu and Ibeju-Lekki; the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Riliwan Akiolu; the state command headquarters of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Vehicle Inspection Service as well as banks, police stations and malls.


The thugs, against all odds, stormed the Iga Idugaran palace of the Oba of Lagos, and vandalised vehicles as well as stealing several artefacts including the institutions symbol of authority, the ‘Opa Ase’. In a video, which has went viral on the Internet, the thugs were seen stroling away triumphantly with the staff of office of the king. While in another video, residents were seen merrymaking in the vandalised palace, jumping in and out of the swimming pool.

PUNCH reported that the thugs, who invaded the palace, were the same ones who set the family home of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ablaze in the Surulere area of Lagos. The thugs, according to eyewitness were armed to the teeth, and were able to force the police attached to the Adeniji Adele Police Station to beat a retreat. They allegedly claimed that the Oba was part of government, and that necessitated his attack. They had only been attacking government facilities. There were no fatalities at the Oba’s residence as soldiers came to his rescue.

Both the Afeniji-Adele and Akinsemoyin families of Lagos, have condemned the attack on the Oba’s palace.


At the High Court, Igbosere, thugs broke in, and stole office equipment such as computers, printers and files, as well as items like fans, air conditioners and many others. They set the facility on fire after the looting.


At the Oyingbo and Berger bus terminals, vehicles belonging to the Lagos Bus Services Limited were set ablaze by hoodlums. The spokesperson for the LBSL at the Berger station, Olawale Afolabi, put the number of completely burnt buses at 20, but added that it could be more.



The Palms shopping mall on the Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue Victoria Island was also looted and set on fire just as Circle Mall at Jakande, Novare Mall at Sangotedo. At first, the police repelled the attacks on Novare Mall, but the hoodlums found another way to enter the premises.”


Following insinuations making the rounds that the Oriental Hotel, located at the Lekki axis of Lagos State, is owned by a popular politician and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the management of WEMCO Group has said the hotel belongs to them.

In a release made available to The Boss, the group said the hotel belongs to the Tung Wong family, and has operated in Nigeria in the last 50 years.

It noted that the family diverted into hospitality, and built the hotel in 2008.

“The Tung Wong family owns the WEMPCO Group that employs thousands of Nigerians.

“The Lagos Oriental Hotel does not belong to Tinubu,” the statement noted.

The group therefore, advised the public to stop the misinformation.


The offices of the Federal Road Safety Corps and Vehicle Inspection Service in the Ojodu area of state were set ablaze by suspected hoodlums. The many vehicles parked on the premises were completely razed.

By the next morning, Lagos was a ghost of its former self with every corner littered with debris of what it used to be. From Ikeja to Agege to Lekki, upto Badagry and to uttermost of the town, only hues and cries made the rounds and created a picture of an abandoned vassal state.



In Oyo State, where the state governor has been using to try and calm protesters, hoodlums instilled fear in the minds of residents when they attacked and razed down the Ojoo Police Station, Ibadan. They also carted away ammunition from the station

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Nwachukwu Enwonwu, in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer for the command, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the hoodlums set the station on fire and made away with AK-47 rifles from the armoury and killed two policemen were killed. Two others were missing after the attack.


In Ondo State, the hoodlums targeted the offices of the two major political parties, setting ablaze the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party located in the Alagbaka area of Akure, Ondo State. This was few hours after the secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress was torched by the hoodlums

In the same vein, the thugs burnt down the office of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad along Oda Road in Akure and vandalised property on the premises.


The Aba Town Hall, housing the secretariat of the Aba South Local Government Area was set ablaze by hoodlums in Abia State. They also burnt down the office of the Abia State Fire Service in Aba.

The Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, had announce a 24 hours curfew to check attacks by hoodlums under the guise of the #EndSARS protests, becoming the third state after Edo and Lagos to declare curfew.


The Oyigbo Area Command and the Afam Police Station were set on fire by hoodlums, who hijacked the #EndSARS protest in the state. In the process, three persons, including two policemen were killed

Also, a hospital in the area was set ablaze following the alleged refusal of its staff to treat a gunshot victim, who eventually died.

It was reported that assailants, numbering over 100 and who disguised as protesters, first set ablaze the police armoured personnel carrier stationed at the entrance of the station before burning the entire building.

Over 16 vehicles, including police operational vans and impounded cars, were also consumed by the inferno, with some being burnt beyond recognition.

A policeman believed to be the driver of the armoured personnel carrier lost his life as bullet wounds riddled his body, while another policeman, who was killed by the rampaging youths, had his hand chopped off.

Though there were efforts by policemen from the Oyigbo Police Station to repel the attack, but they ran away when the situation escalated and the youth regrouped and proceeded to the Afam Police Station and also set it on fire.

Across the states, there were one form of vandalism or arson cases reported with most cases associated with death or brutal killings. Most policemen were brutally murdered with two seen on a viral video being roasted alive.

This is Another Stress Test for the Resilience of Our Nation – Raymond Nkannebe, Lawyer 

In his response, a legal practitioner, Mr Raymond Nkannebe, who is also a Public Policy Analyst, and the Program Coordinator of the Global Sustainable Youth Forum, believe that the rampaging devastation is an eye opener as regards wrong choices at the ballot boxes coupled with political apathy among the youths. It is his believe that the zeal demonstrated by the protesters will be reflected in 2023.

“It’s quite unfortunate that our country has been brought to its knees. But anyone who has studied the degeneration of social and economic life of the citizens, particularly the youth, would have known that what we’re witnessing today, was always a function of “when”, not “if”, as it was always going to be. You don’t keep a people to the ground for too long, and expect them not to rise up in retaliation. It is a natural human instinct. The wanton destruction of properties and the manner it was gone about by the irate youth says it all.
“Thankfully, there are enough lessons to go round both for the leaders and citizens. For the leaders, they have gotten a taste of the anger in the land. Hopefully, that awakens them to their responsibility under the Social Contract with the citizens. On their part, the citizens, particularly the youth, have seen first hand the consequences of choices made at the ballot. And the steep price of political apathy. If the youths of this country can get more politically active, they’ll dictate the leadership configuration of this country. They have slept on that duty for too long. But hopefully this becomes that Damascus-moment. We hope to see the energy of #ENDSARS on the ballot in 2023. That way, we would have started the process of taking our country back.
“On the whole, this is another stress test for the resilience of our Nation and we have shown that we can rise again after a fall. That is what democracy and Nation Building is about. So far, that has been the only positive side of the inevitable crisis,” Nkannebe said.
For those who has one thing or another to do with the looting and destruction, Mrs Odutola has a line for them, “Finally, to all those who sponsored and hired thugs who went on a rampage destroying and looting, your time is up and the long arm of the law will catch up with you. “The labours of our heores past, shall never be in vain”.

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Strike: FG Hopeful As Meeting with with Labour Ends on Inclusive Note




The meeting called by the Federal Government to resolve the grievances for which the organised labour had issued a threat of an indefinite strike, set to commence on October 3rd, 2023, ended on an inconclusive note, as the two labour centres are to consult with their National Executive Council over the new proposal thrown on the table by the government.

Meanwhile, the federal government has made a U-turn regarding its proposed N25,000 wage award to workers in the lower cadre to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal, stating that the said amount would be applicable to all workers in the civil service.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajiabiamila, backtracked on the earlier decision made by President Bola Ahmed during his Independence Day broadcast to the nation on Sunday.

Briefing journalists on part of the outcome of the meeting, the Chief of Staff said, “Let me, first of all, on behalf of the government and labour, thank you and commend you for the long hours you’ve been here.
“We’ve been at a closed-door meeting with labour and the government side since three o’clock. So, it’s been about a four-hour meeting.

“A lot of issues were addressed, issues that concern the Nigerian worker, the average Nigerian worker. I can’t begin to reel them out here. But I am happy to say that after four hours, we have reached certain agreements that are for the benefit of the Nigerian worker.

“Agreements on the wage bill, agreements on committees on salary increment, CNG buses, and several other things, I believe, both TUC, Labour and the government side?

“Hopefully, we expect that Labour will call a meeting of their various branches and executives tomorrow to present the agreements that have been reached, and we pray, believe, and hope that the strike will be called off on Tuesday.

“There was a lot of chatter on Twitter about the issue of low-income workers only falling into the category of the wage bill.

They spotted that, and we communicated that to Mr President, and he quickly said and agreed that all categories of workers would be given the wage bill.

“There’s nothing like low-income, mid-income, or high-income. I think that’s worthy of clarification tonight.”

NLC President Joe Ajaero, in his remarks after the meeting, said, “I don’t have much to say than the Chief of Staff has said.

We’ve been meeting, and we’ve looked at almost all the issues, all the promissory notes from the government, and we’ll look at how to translate them into reality and make them workable.

Then we’re going to take those promises to our organs. Of course, you know these people here cannot just wake up and review and call off action.”

Among some of the resolutions that all parties at the meeting agreed to was that the Federal Government has announced N25,000 only as a provisional wage increment for all Treasury-paid federal government workers for six months.

The closed-door meeting equally resolved that the Federal Government must show commitment to fast-tracking the provision of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidies while also committing to the provision of funds for micro- and small-scale enterprises.

They also agreed that VAT on diesel would be waived for the next six months. The Federal Government commences payments of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month for a three-month period from October to December 2023.

Other highlights of the meeting were that the issues in dispute can only be resolved when workers are at work and not when they are on strike.

Furthermore, a statement by the presidency, signed by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, indicated that labour unions argued for a higher wage award, and the Federal Government Team promised to present Labor’s request to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.

To this end, they resolved that a sub-committee should be constituted to work out the details of the implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

“The lingering matter of the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State needs to be addressed urgently, and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who participated virtually, pledged to resolve the matter.

“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above,” all the stakeholders agreed.

Meanwhile, Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State participated virtually in the meeting, chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.

In attendance were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, the Minister of State, Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

The labour delegation was led by NLC President Joe Ajaero, Deputy President, TUC, Dr Tommy Etim Okon, NLC General Secretary Emma Ugboaja, and TUC General Secretary Nuhu Toro, among others.


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Full Text of President Tinubu’s 63rd Independence Day Speech





October 1, 2023

“Dear Compatriots,

“It is my unique honour to address you on this day, the 63rd anniversary of our nation’s independence, both as the President of our dear country and, simply, as a fellow Nigerian.

“On this solemn yet hopeful day, let us commend our founding fathers and mothers. Without them, there would be no modern Nigeria. From the fading embers of colonialism, their activism, dedication and leadership gave life to the belief in Nigeria as a sovereign and independent nation.

“Let us, at this very moment, affirm that, as Nigerians, we are all endowed with the sacred rights and individual gifts that God has bestowed on us as a nation and as human beings. No one is greater or lesser than the other. The triumphs that Nigeria has achieved shall define us.

The travails we have endured shall strengthen us. And no other nation or power on this earth shall keep us from our rightful place and destiny. This nation belongs to you, dear people. Love and cherish it as your very own.

“Nigeria is remarkable in its formation and essential character. We are a broad and dynamic blend of ethnic groups, religions, traditions and cultures. Yet, our bonds are intangible yet strong, invisible yet universal.

“We are joined by a common thirst for peace and progress, by the common dream of prosperity and harmony and by the unifying ideals of tolerance and justice.

“Forging a nation based on the fair application of these noble principles to a diverse population has been a task of significant blessing but also a serial challenge.

“Some people have said an independent Nigeria should never have come into existence. Some have said that our country would be torn apart. They are forever mistaken. Here, our nation stands, and here we shall remain.

“This year, we passed a significant milestone in our journey to a better Nigeria. By democratically electing a 7th consecutive civilian government, Nigeria has proven that commitment to democracy and the rule of law remains our guiding light.

“At my inauguration, I made important promises about how I would govern this great nation. Among those promises were pledges to reshape and modernize our economy and to secure the lives, liberty and property of the people.

“I said that bold reforms were necessary to place our nation on the path of prosperity and growth. On that occasion, I announced the end of the fuel subsidy. I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.

“Those who sought to perpetuate the fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are people who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp.

“I am different. I am not a man to erect our national home on a foundation of mud. To endure, our home must be constructed on safe and pleasant ground.

“Reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future in Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few. A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever-fading past.

“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.

“My government is doing all that it can to ease the load. I will now outline the path we are taking to relieve the stress on our families and households.

“We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilize the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.

“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month.

“To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.

“Making the economy more robust by lowering transport costs will be key. In this regard, we have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.

“New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process. We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.

“This is a groundbreaking moment where, as a nation, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.

“I pledged a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway. A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences. Henceforth, monetary policy shall be for the benefit of all and not the exclusive province of the powerful and wealthy.
“Wise tax policy is essential to economic fairness and development. I have inaugurated a Committee on Tax Reforms to improve the efficiency of tax administration in the country and address fiscal policies that are unfair or hinder the business environment and slow our growth.

“To boost employment and urban incomes, we are providing investment funding for enterprises with great potential. Similarly, we are increasing investment in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Commencing this month, the social safety net is being extended through the expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.

“My administration shall always accord the highest priority to the safety of the people. Inter-Service collaboration and intelligence sharing have been enhanced. Our Service Chiefs have been tasked with the vital responsibility of rebuilding the capacities of our security services.

“Here, I salute and commend our gallant security forces for keeping us safe and securing our territorial integrity. Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We remember them today and their families. We shall equip our forces with the ways and means needed to perform their urgent task on behalf of the people,

“We shall continue to make key appointments in line with the provisions of the Constitution and with fairness toward all. Women, Youth and the physically challenged shall continue to be given due regard in these appointments.

“May I take this opportunity to congratulate the National Assembly for its role in the quick take-off of this administration through the performance of its constitutional duties of confirmation and oversight.

“I similarly congratulate the judiciary as a pillar of democracy and fairness.

“I also thank members of our dynamic civil society organizations and labour unions for their dedication to Nigerian democracy. We may not always agree but I value your advice and recommendations. You are my brothers and sisters and you have my due respect.

“Fellow compatriots, the journey ahead will not be navigated by fear or hatred. We can only achieve a better Nigeria through courage, compassion and commitment as one indivisible unit.

“I promise that I shall remain committed and serve faithfully. I also invite all to join this enterprise to remake our beloved nation into its better self. We can do it. We must do it. We shall do it.!!!

“I wish you all a happy 63rd Independence Anniversary. Thank you for listening. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Godwin Emefiele: The Endless Search for Justice




By Eric Elezuo

After the long drawn brouhaha of arrest, detention and dragging to court, the suspended and later sacked Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, was on July 25, 2023, granted bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum by the Federal High Court in Lagos State.

He was granted bail after pleading not guilty to the two counts bordering on the alleged illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. It was believed that the search for justice was coming to an end, but that was not to be.

Emefiele was facing two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition preferred against him by the Federal Ministry of Justice before the vacation judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

The Ministry of Justice was prosecuting him on charges of possessing a single-barrelled shotgun (JOJEFF MAGNUM 8371) without a licence. He was also accused of illegally possessing 23 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a licence, offences committed the offences on June 15, 2023, at No. 3b Iru Close, Ikoyi area of Lagos.

But rather than releasing the embattled former governor, the Department of State Services (DSS) physically fought the Correction Centre officials to retain him as their prisoner.

A few days latter, the Federal Government applied to withdraw the ‘illegal possession of firearms’ case it filed against Emefiele, at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abubakar told Justice Nicholas Oweibo that the application followed the result of further investigations made by the government.

Justice Oweibo adjourned till Thursday, August 17, 2023 to rule on the application. The DPP told Nigerians after the proceedings that a fresh 20 counts has been filed at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court against the then suspended CBN governor.

He said one of the charges proffered against Emefiele is that of “conferring unlawful advantages” making Nigerians wonder if there are no underground currents to denied the embattled Emefiele of justice even as four months has come and gone since he was removed from office and incarcerated.

Matters took a different turn as since the adjournment of the case, it has not been heard. On August 17, the case was stalled, and moved to August 23. Again, it was stalled.

The matter was not listed on the cause list of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on the day with no reason given as lawyers to both parties were absent in court.

The embattled defendant, who appeared before the court on August 17, was supposed to be arraigned but the arraignment was stalled as a result of the absence of the second defendant who was said to have been indisposed.

Although Emefiele (the first defendant) was present in court, the second defendant, a female CBN employee, Sa’adatu Yaro, was not in court prompting the Presiding Judge, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the matter to August 23, 2023.

Frustrated by the back and forth attitude of the DSS towards his release, Emefiele had sued the secret Police at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, challenging his detention.

In his originating motion on notice, Emefiele prayed for the court to enforce his right to liberty and freedom of movement, as there is no basis for his continuous detention.

However, the Attorney General of the Federation as well as the DSS have insisted that the detention of the suspended CBN Governor is lawful.

In a preliminary objection filed against the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Emefiele, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the DSS told the Federal Capital Territory High Court that the detention was backed by the order of a magistrates’ court and prayed for the court to dismiss the motion with cost.

They noted that the arrest of the former CBN governor was an administrative decision of the DSS.

The AGF is also challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit, as the originating motion filed by Mr. Emefiele ought to have sought that the court set aside the order for his detention rather than seek enforcement of rights.

An appointee of former President Goodluck Jonathan after Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure was cut short in 2015, Emefiele, was retained by Buhari, and began his second term in office in May 2019 after his reappointment, and confirmation by the Senate. He was thereafter sworn in by the Bank’s Secretary and Director, Corporate Secretariat Department, Mrs Alice Karau, according to a statement by the Director Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor.

On resumption of office for his second term, Emefiele expressed high hopes, dsiclosing that he will unfold a new roadmap for the Bank and the economy, in the days ahead, after consultations with critical stakeholder groups, and reiterated the bank’s focus to play an active role in supporting job and wealth creation in Nigeria.

In his words: “We must strengthen our efforts over the coming years to stimulate growth and job creation in critical sectors of the economy, which will help insulate our economy from shocks in the global economy.

“We must also work to build a healthy and stable financial system that will contribute to the growth of our economy while preserving price stability”.

Emefiele went ahead to unveil his economic blueprint for the country, promising to recapitalise banks within the next five years to make them contribute significantly to economic growth, promising that during his next five years, which will elapse in 2024, he would pursue an economic agenda that would make the economy grow by double digits through targeted programmes that would boost output, and work with Deposit Money Banks to boost credit to the real sector as well as the creative and education sector. In addition, he said the apex bank will increase its support to farmers in order to bring down the rate of inflation.

However, events began to take a dramatic turn as the matters of the naira showed the traces of a currency given inadequate attention with plummeting agenda against other currencies of the world, coupled with the advent of the electioneering season, which categorically sort of distracted the CBN governor with his overtly ambitions trend to become president, even without resigning his appointment as a public servant.

Earlier, the CBN governor was laced in a scandal following a leaked tape, where he and other senior bank officials were heard discussing discrepancies in the bank’s accounts, addressing a stolen money from the bank’s coffers. Though the tape was audible enough declaring the anxiety in the bank at the time, the authorities promptly denied the development, saying the tape was misquoted out of context, and distorted

Again, the Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, was on hand to veil the authenticity of the allegation saying said that no money was missing or stolen from the bank’s coffers as reported in some section of the media. He said that the audio was distorted in a manner which creates a different impression of the matter being discussed, which was to proffer solutions to a misunderstanding that affected the Bank’s balance sheet.

He said: “As publicly known the CBN was approached in 2015 by the National Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council chaired by the Vice President, to assist State Governments with Conditional Budget Support. This happened in the aftermath of the significant nose-dive in global oil prices and associated FAAC allocations.
“In order to ensure that ordinary Nigerian workers  got their salaries, pensions and gratuities, and that the economy continued to recover from recession, the Bank provided about N650 billion in loans at 9 per cent with a two-year grace period to 35 States of the Federation.
“These monies were distributed to the states monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidency.
“In closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft  Account, erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negatively affected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund.
“The selective  conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolving it.
“Obviously, it soon became clear that a State Government loan cannot be classified as “bad” or “irrecoverable” when the State still exists and getting FAAC allocations.
“The Bank then reached out to the Federal Ministry of Finance and they jointly gave comfort  to the auditors who accepted in writing that these monies would be repaid.
“On this basis, the auditors reversed the negative entry and the certified that the CBN’s 2018 accounts were a true reflection of the State of Affairs.”
The statement ended with Okoroafor saying that Emefiele had “no account in Dubai or anywhere in the world and would never convert the funds of CBN for personal use. Not in the past, not now and not ever” while urging Nigerians to disregard the audio and continue to trust that the Bank is doing everything it could to represent their interests in the best possible way.” He stated that efforts to malign the CBN governor’s character and integrity will never stand.

Though the bank threatened to ‘pursue every legal means to bring the perpetrators to justice’, nothing was heard of the matter till date.

It was not long thereafter that the CBN’s governor’s foray into the murky waters of politics became public knowledge. While Nigerians were not averse to his contesting political positions, all the more than a few persons asked for was for the chief monetary officer to resign his position, and squarely politics, but he blatantly refused. And sought court ruling to enable him run while retaining his office.
Emefiele’s continous involvement in scandals went on unabated with making Nigerians believing he wouldn’t survive the administration of former President Buhari. He was enmeshed in one scandal after another since his infamous declaration to run for the office of the presidency as a sitting public servant, contrary to the dictates of the Nigerian Constitution. His recalcitrant attitude to the ambition, even as calls were made by prominent Nigerians, even the generality of the public, for him to jettison the plans, put him on the bad pavilion of public discourse. His inglorious handling of the economy that has seen the Naira continue a free fall did not help matters, and worse still the not-well-thought-out naira redesign process, leading to total withdrawal of cash in circulation, and driving Nigerians into untold suffering culminating into permanent disabilities for many and death for some.
However, the alleged crimes of Emefiele notwithstanding, he still deserves the application of the rule of law in his matter, but that has not been forthcoming as the DSS has held him incommunicado and disobeyed all court rulings on the issue.
A new development, which The Boss cannot immediately confirm alleged that the embattled Emefiele has been offered an opportunity of a plea bargain, demanding he submits N50 billion out of his supposed looted funds, and receive his release in exchange.
But observers believe that Emefiele’s endless search for justice will materialise, one day.

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