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FACT-CHECK: Did Protesters Block Abuja Airport Road on March 4, 2021?

By Fact Check

VERDICT: Misleading

CLAIM: On March 5, 2021, multiple online platforms posted a video online with the claim ‘’Nigerian youths block Abuja Airport road, at Dantata bridge, stops international flight passengers and brings the city to stand still.’’

The video was also shared via WhatsApp with the claim “Another episode of Lekki Toll Gate, repeating itself in Abuja. GOD, PLEASE HELP THIS COUNTRY!”

The video which was also posted on popular discussion forum Nairaland was accompanied with the claim “Some youths have taken laws into their own hands at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Thursday night grounding all activities along the popular Dantata Bridge in Abuja. The popular Bridge was said to have been blocked by the irate youths who are protesting against bad governance under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

It showed heavy traffic on an expressway, with an individual saying the Dantata Bridge in Abuja has been blocked by youths in protest.

FACT:

Checks by fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) show that the video is five months old and was recorded on October 16, 2020, #EndSARS protest against Police brutality in Nigeria.

The protesters had blocked the Abuja Airport Road, which links the city centre to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The road is also a major gateway to Abuja from neighbouring states of Kogi, Niger and Kaduna and the city’s outskirts. The protest was reported by Premium Times, Independent Newspaper and the Tribune

Furthers checks by the CDD showed that there was indeed a protest in Abuja on March 4, 2021, by some individuals calling for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari. The individuals, mainly young people carried their placards within the Central Business District but not Dantata Bridge as widely reported.

Also, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command has reacted to the trending video saying that there was no #EndSARS protest in Abuja on March 4, 2021.

The Police also clarified that the video is from the #EndSARS protest in Abuja last year.

“FAKE NEWS! The Attention of the FCT Police Command has been drawn to a viral video of End SARS protesters in the FCT. We hereby state that nothing of such happened as the video itself is an old video of the previous End SARS protest,” the Command tweeted.

CONCLUSION

The claim that some protesting youths in Abuja blocked the Dantata Bridge leading to the Airport thereby causing traffic gridlock on Thursday, March 4, 2021, is misleading. The video was recorded on October 16, 2020, during the #EndSARS protest.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Shin Zargin Shugaba Buhari Game Da Rahotannin BBC da CNN Akan Zanga-Zangar #EndSARS Gaskiya Ne?

By Fact Check

Tantancewar CDD: Karya Ne!

Tushen Magana:

A ranar 9 ga watan Disamban shekara ta 2020, shafin Twitter na Shugaba Muhammadu Buhari wato @MBuhari ya wallafa wani jawabi inda yace rahoton da kafafen yada labarai na kasashen ketare suka yada game da zanga-zangar #EndSARS ba rahoto ne day a karkata zuwa wani bangare tare da barin wani bangare.

Jawabin da ake zargin shafin shugaban kasan ya wallafa yace gidajen talabijin na CNN da BBC suka yada din ya kauda kai daga kisan yan sanda da akayi lokacin zanga-zangar, da ofisoshin yan sanda da gidajen yarin da aka mamaye, dama kadarorin da aka barnata.

Kawo lokacin hada wannan rahoto, an kara wallafa maganar shugaban kasan sau 6700 yayin da wassu kafafe da yawa suka cewa maganar ta burgesu.

Mai magana da yawun shugaban kasan Malam Garba Shehu ya bayyana cewa jawabin da akace shugaban kasan ne ya wallafa karya ne. Garba Shehu yayi wannan bayani ne ranar 11 ga watan Disamba, 2020, kwana biyu bayan jawabin ya fita.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Labarin da ake yadawa cewa Shugaba Muhammadu Buhari ya soki salon rahoton gidajen talabijin na BBC da CNN game da zanga-zangar #EndSARS karya ne.

Wani bincike da CDD ta gudanar ya gano cewa zargin da ake yi cewa gidajen talabijin din kasashen ketare sun fifita wani bangare suka kuma bar wani bangare a rahoton su game da #EndSARS ya gano cewa karya ne.

Sashin turancin buroka na BBC ya gabatar da rahoton kona ofishin yan sanda na Orile da wassu bata gari sukayi a ranar 20 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020.

Photo credit: Rosemary Ajayi. Twitter: @RMAjayi

Kwana biyu bayan haka BBC sun bada labarin harin da aka kaiwa gidajen yarin Ikoyi da Warri

Gidan talabijin na CNN shima ya gabatar rahoton kai hari ga gidajen yarin, ga rahoton cikin adireshin yanar gizon.

A ranar 22 ga watan Oktoba, 2020 BBC sun gabatar da rahoto mai fadi game da batun.

A ranar 23 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020 BBC ta gabatar da rahoto kan martanin Shugaba Buhari game da zanga-zangar #EndSARS din

A wata hira da aka yada sosai, gwamnan Legas Babjide Sanwo-Olu ya gayawa ma’aikaciyar CNN Becky Anderson cewa yana da kwarin gwiwar cewa za’a samu garan-bawul game da aikin yan sanda sakamakon zanga-zanga.

Kammalawa:

Zargin da ya fito daga shafin Twitter na Shugaba Muhammadu Buhari cewa gidajen talabijin na CNN da BBC basu bada kulawa ga kisan yan sanda, da kona ofisoshin yan sanda dama gidajen yari da aka bude karya ne!

CDD na jan hankalin jama’a da akodayaushe su tantance sahihancin labarai kafin yada su.

FACT-CHECK: Is Buhari’s Claim on #EndSARS Protest Coverage by CNN, BBC True?

By Fact Check

VERDICT: FALSE

CLAIM: On December 9, 2020, the Twitter handle of the President of Nigeria @Mbuhari tweeted that the coverage of #EndSARS protest by foreign media was not balanced.

The president’s tweet claims that the CNN and BBC did not give attention to the police officers who were killed, the stations that were burnt, and prisons that were invaded.

As at the time of reporting, it has been retweeted by 6700 Twitter users and liked by 9100 times. Multiple media houses including national dailies reported the content of the tweet.

The President’s Spokesperson acknowledged this in a tweet he made on December 11, two days after the President made the false claim.

FACT:

The claim by the President that the CNN and BBC did not give attention to the Police officer killed, the stations that were burnt, and the invasion of prisons during the #EndSARS protest is false.

A review of the reportage of the #EndSARS protests by the two media organizations also show the claim to be false.

On October 20, 2020, the Pidgin service of the BBC reported the burning of Orile police Station by hoodlums.

Photo credit: Rosemary Ajayi (Twitter: @RMAjayi)

Two days after, the BBC reported the attack on the Ikoyi and Warri Prisons in two different reports.

The CNN also reported the Ikoyi Prison incident in this report: Prison set on fire in Nigeria as protest death toll rises to at least 56.

On October 22, 2020, the BBC did an extensive report on the Fake News that went viral on the EndSARS protest on its Reality Check done by Peter Mwai, Nigeria Sars protest: The misinformation circulating online

On October 23, 2020, the BBC reported the reaction of President Muhammadu Buhari to the protest on its World Service. Nigeria protests: President Buhari says 69 killed in unrest

In a widely publiced interview, the governor of Lagos state Babajide Sanwo-Olu told CNN’s Becky Anderson he believes there will be ‘genuine reforms’ of police following EndSARS protests.

The CNN said it was an opportunity to hear the government’s side of the story.

Our review of the reports also shows that the two international media organizations sort and featured the reaction and postion of the government in most of the reports.

Days after it has become apperant to the Presidency that the claim is false, the tweet is yet to be taken down and formal apology tendered.

CONCLUSION

The claim by President Muhammadu Buhari through his Twitter handle (@MBuhari) that the CNN and BBC did not give attention to the policemen that were killed, the stations that were burnt, and prisons that were opened is false.

CDD is urging handlers of Government Communications channels to always verify all information before disseminating as sharing of false information will continue to reduce the citizen’s trust in the government.

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Escalation of Threats Against Human Rights Activists Putting Nigeria In Negative Global Spotlight

By Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT

November 10, 2020

The undersigned coalition of Civil Society Organisations working to promote democracy, human rights and accountable governance hereby express grave concerns about the rise in the level of attacks targeted at human rights activists and pro-democracy campaigners especially since the start of the #EndSARS protests.

Despite the local and global condemnations, which have trailed the death of protesters as a result of extrajudicial killings by security forces and the activities of sponsored non-state elements, it is worrisome that there has been no remorse on the part of those perpetrating these atrocities. This Coalition is aware that the Nigerian authorities have stepped up measures to clamp down on individuals, organisations and corporate bodies alleged to be the masterminds of the protests.

For the avoidance of doubt, this Coalition is of the view that the #EndSARS protests, which gripped the country in the last few weeks, focused on the legitimate demands of the Nigerian youth for an end to police brutality and other dimensions of human rights abuses.

Unfortunately, instead of focusing squarely on the necessary administrative reforms to meet the short and long term demands of the protesters, the authorities have begun resorting to underhand tactics to coerce and clamp down rights activists, pro-democracy campaigners and other voices of dissent calling for systemic reforms, which will promote good governance.

This includes the government’s inaction in responding to the direct threats issued against human rights organisations by non-state elements with pro-government objectives. At the last count, this Coalition has documented several patently illegal steps taken by the government, which clearly infringe on the fundamental rights of citizens.

Increasingly, protest organisers are being intimidated and coerced by various state institutions. There have also been situations in which travel bans, which have no basis in the rule of law, have been slammed on individuals for their alleged roles in the #EndSARS protests. Our Coalition strongly condemns the resort to acts of intimidation, profiling and coercion of citizens who have done no wrong.

We have no doubt that the actions of the government constitute a serious attack on freedom of expression, which is a constitutionally guaranteed right of every Nigerian citizen. Specifically, Section 39(1) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended makes it clear that every person “shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

We make no mistake about the fact that the peaceful protests staged in recent weeks provided an opportunity for the young people of Nigeria to air their views and express their opinions about the state of the country. The government’s acts of clamping down on those who participated in or mobilised for the protests amount to a brazen violation of citizens fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution.   

It is similarly unacceptable that the Nigerian authorities have also been resorting to diversionary tactics such as targeting the bank accounts of individuals who are said to be financing the protests. It is on record that most of these punitive measures by the government are being effected without any exhaustive recourse to the judicial process. The reliance on ex parte applications to freeze accounts of citizens is antithetical to the principle of fair hearing and proper judicial oversight.

This Coalition notes that in most of the cases the government has brought against citizens, it (the government) is clearly an interested party. It is unethical that the government is simultaneously taking up the roles of accuser, prosecution, and judge in these cases. These underhand tactics run contrary to the principles of natural justice, which aver that an entity cannot be the judge in its own case. In the face of these attacks on freedom of expression, association, and the intrinsic rights of citizens to get their voices heard, this Coalition calls on Nigerians to brace up for the struggles ahead.

The people of this country cannot afford to stand by and watch in the face of  unconstitutional measures to silence their voices and abridge their rights as citizens. This Coalition for the umpteenth time calls on the international community to take urgent measures to pressure the Nigerian authorities to henceforth act in accordance to the rule of law by halting the ongoing unconstitutional assault on citizens’ rights. 

Signed:

1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)

2. Enough is Enough (EIE) Nigeria

3. Partners for Electoral Reform

4. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

5. Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED)

6.Centre for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD)

7. Yiaga Africa

8. Global Rights

9. Project Alert

10. Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC)

11. Paradigm Initiative (PIN)

12. Rule of Law and Accountability Centre (RULAAC)

13. HEDA Resource Centre

14. African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)

15. Community Life Project (CLP)

16. Protest to Power

17. Social Action

18.  Right to Know

19. Lawyers Alert

20. Private and Public Development Centre

21. South Saharan Social Development Organisation

22. Partners West Africa- Nigeria

23. Centre LSD

24. Connected Development (CODE)

25. Stakeholders Development Network (SDN)

26. BUDGiT

27. CWCW Africa

28. Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA)

29. Invictus Africa

30. Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA)

31. Resource Centre for Human Rights (CHRICED)

32. Reboot Design

DOWNLOAD FULL STATEMENT HERE

#EndSARS Protest: Finding a Pathway to Sustainable Peace and Development

By Press Release
#EndSARS protesters
#EndSARS protesters. Photo credit: BBC

Released October 26, 2020

As we continue to condemn the use of ‘live bullets’ on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, on October 20, 2020, we also join our voices to condemn acts of thuggery, hate speeches, and fake news. We particularly condemn the hoodlums that attacked security facilities and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force as two wrongs never make a right. We still maintain that the 5-for-5 demand by the #EndSARS movement should be urgently met in the interest of the Nigerian state. One of the demands is the transparent prosecution of the officers responsible for the brutality against citizens. In order to build trust in government, we immediately request the prosecution of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers who have been identified in the killings, torture, and rapes of citizens.

On this note, we applaud the request of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to ensure speedy prosecution of 35 operatives of the defunct SARS. These officers were accused of human rights violations and abuse of office in a report by the presidential investigation panel.

We have watched with disdain the impunity, and outrightly denounce the assault on public and private properties by hoodlums. The attack in many states of the federation on warehouses, and the looting of COVID-19 palliatives, which were supplied by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID), has thrown up another worrying dimension and exposes the rot and corruption in our governance system.

We unequivocally condemn these attacks and call on the Governors’ Forum to tell Nigerians why they (Governors) intentionally hoarded food items supplied in good faith by the Coalition.  We have read various official statements from some of the state governments and an unofficial statement attributed to the CA-COVID. Some of the statements raise some credibility questions.

As a Civil Society Collective, we have begun tracking initiated court cases, particularly in Lagos and Ogun, this in addition to the panels of inquiry/restitution set up by the states; so far we are reviewing the 27 of the 36 states that already announced these measures. We have also begun to document shreds of evidence with a view to track and underscore the various human rights abuses, following the End SARS protests; this includes the launch of the Missing Persons Portal and tracking of cases specific to violence against women. In addition, we are ready to provide live streaming and tech support to the Panel setup, in order to enhance the credibility of the investigative process.

We are worried that the NHRC which announced its constitution of an independent investigation panel into the activities of the dissolved SARS does not have a constituted Governing Council. We immediately call on President Mohammadu Buhari to grant the Commission the needed capacity to conduct this investigation by inaugurating the Commission’s Governing Council without further delay. In Section 7 (3) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, the Executive Secretary lacks the power to act without a Governing Council, thus invalidating any action taken by the Anthony Ojukwu led Commission. 

Signed:

1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)

2. Enough is Enough (EIE)

3. Partners for Electoral Reform

4. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

5. Centre for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD)

6. Yiaga Africa

7. Global Rights

8. Project Alert

9. Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC)

10. Paradigm Initiative (PIN)

11. Rule of Law and Accountability Centre (RULAAC)

12. HEDA Resource Centre

13. African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)

14. Community Life Project (CLP)

15. Protest to Power

16. Social Action

17.  Right to Know

18. Lawyers Alert

19. International Press Centre (IPC)

20. Private and Public Development Centre

21. South Saharan Social Development Organisation

22. Partners West Africa- Nigeria

23. Centre LSD

24. Connected Development (CODE)

25. Stakeholders Development Network (SDN)

26. BUDGiT

27. CWCW Africa

28. Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA)

29. Invictus Africa

30. Alliance for Credible Election (ACE)

31. Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA)

32. Resource Centre for Human Rights (CHRICED)

33. Reboot Design

Media Contact

Centre for Democracy and Development

Email: cddabv@cddwestafrica.org / nibeh@cddwestafrica.org

Twitter: @CDDWestAfrica

FACT-CHECK: Did Benin #EndSARS Protesters Break Into Prison To Free Prisoners?

By Fact Check

VERDICT: Misleading

CLAIM:

On Monday October 19, 2020, inmates of the Nigeria Correctional Centre in Benin, Edo State escaped from the facility at the peak of the #EndSARS protest.

A report published by Goldennews, claimed that #EndSARS protesters clamouring for an end to Police brutality broke into a correctional facility in Sapele Road Benin to free inmates. Attached to the report was  a 39 seconds video showing a crowd of people running helter-skelter. At the background was a lady shouting “prisoners have been freed, they are running”.

In another report by Newsflash247, the protesters around Kings Square in Benin City were said to have broken the walls of the headquarters’ of facility, gained entrance and freed the inmates.

FACT:

Investigation carried out by fact-checkers at Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) showed that the claim on prisoners escaped in Benin facility is true.

However checks by the Centre also revealed that the protesters in Benin denied freeing the inmates as this is the work of hoodlums who were not part of the #EndSARS protest. In the videos seen on social media the hoodlums were seen caring sharp objects, stick which was against the peaceful protest.

More checks by CDD fact checkers, shows that the prison doors were not broken as at the time of the prison break, the walls were also intact, this however leaves a question to the above claim.

Who released the inmates and where were the warders. To further investigate the claim CDD fact checkers also found out that the prisoners were seen with traveling bags, headsets all intact and running.

Also checks by the centre showed that the Nigerian police confirmed the incidence on their official Twitter handle. The police said “regrettably the unfortunate attacks on Police Facilities in Ugbekun Police Station, Oba Market Police Station and Idogbo Police Post by persons posing as ENDSARS protesters in Benin, Edo State, today, Monday, 19th October, 2020 is true.

Conclusion:

The claim that prisoners in Benin prisons being set free is true. However as earlier claimed, the protesters were not involved in the Benin prison break but the work of the unknown hoodlums

The police confirmed the claim on the attacks on Police Facilities in Ugbekun Police Station, Oba Market Police Station and Idogbo Police Post by persons posing as ENDSARS protesters in Benin, Edo State on Monday, October 19, 2020.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

FUNAM Bata Ce Keda Alhakin Kona Ababen Hawan Masu Zanga-Zangar #EndSARS a Abuja Ba

By Fact Check

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Talata, 20 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020, anga wani jawabi dake cewa wata kungiyar Fulani mai suna Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) a turance ta bayyana cewa itace takai hari akan masu zanga-zangar #EndSARS a yankin Apo dake Abuja.

Kamar yadda jawabin ya bayyana, kungiyar zata cigaba da kai hari akan masu zanga-zangar ranar Laraba, 21 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020.

Sanarwar tace: “muna bada umarni ga dukkan ya’yan kungiyar mu su shirya dan shiga cikin yakin da muka dade muna jira”.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Binciken da CDD ta gudanar yabi asalin inda sanarwar ta fita kuma ya gano cewa wani shafin bogi da akayiwa lakabi da Jungle Journalist ne ya fara wallafa sanarwar inda kuma wani zauren yanar gizo mai suna Nairaland shima ya wallafa, hakanan an kara wallafa wannan jawabi a dandanlin WhatsApp da Facebook dama Twitter.

Karin bincike da CDD ta gudanar a gano cewa FUNAM wata kungiya ce da aka samar wadda bata da sanannun mambobi ko shuwagabanni a shekara ta 2018. A wancan lokaci wannan kungiya da ba’a san ya’ya ko mambobin ta ba ta dauki alhakin kai hare-haren da aka aiwatar akan rikicin makiyaya da manoma.

Wannan kungiya bincike ya tabbatar da cewa kungiya c eta bogi wadda ake anfani da ita dan ingiza wutar tashin hankali mai alaka da kabilanci tun kimanin shekaru uku da suka gabata. Kuma wadan da suka samar da ita na kokarin haifar da tashin hankalin kabilanci ne shi yasa sukace kungiyar ce takai hari akan masu zanga-zanga a yankin Apo a ranar 19 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020.

Kammalawa:

Kungiyar da ake kira FUNAM kungiya ce ta bogi kuma an alakanta da harin da aka kaiwa masu zanga-zangar #EndSARS a yankin Apo dake babban birnin tarayya Abuja ne dan ingiza tsana da rura wutar tashin hankalin kabilanci.

Anyi anfani da kungiyar ne dan a kanbama tashin hankali, saboda haka CDD ke jan hankali jama’a da cewa suyi watsi da sanarwar kungiyar.

#AgujiYadaLabaranBogi

Kuna iya aikowa CDD labarai ko bayanan da kuke da shakku akansu dan ta tantance muku sahihancin su. Zaku iya turo labaran ta wannan lamba: +2349062910568 ko a shafukan mu na Twitter a @CDDWestAfrica ko @CDDWestAfrica_H

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Killers of #EndSARS Protesters Must Be Held To Account

By Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT

October 21, 2020

#EndSARS Protesters. Photo credit: Al Jazeera

We, the undersigned coalition of civil society organisations, are deeply shocked by the killing of peaceful protesters across Nigeria yesterday. The attempt to fight for justice over police brutality has again revealed the brutal nature of the Nigerian state. At the last count, not less than 40 Nigerians have lost their lives as a result of violent attempts to crack down or disrupt the ongoing protests against police brutality. There is also documentary evidence, which indicts a combined force of sponsored thugs and members of the Nigerian security forces for the deaths of innocent protesters. Particularly disturbing is the massacre of unarmed and very peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos yesterday. The sight of the Nigerian flag stained with the blood of the nation’s youth, in a month the country celebrated sixty years of independence, is a gory sight to behold. These killings are totally unacceptable, just as they stand condemned.

It is pertinent to recall that this coalition previously warned the Nigerian authorities about the danger of deploying the military to confront unarmed protesters. We therefore strongly condemn the needless loss of the lives of young Nigerians as a result of the blatant refusal to heed warnings that the government should NOT bring in the military to quell a protest by citizens demanding police reforms and good governance. This coalition further condemns the lack of restraint, and the level of impunity displayed by the Army Officers who obeyed this unlawful order to unleash maximum force on protesters.

It is disheartening that members of the armed forces, who are supposed to be servants and protectors of the people are the very elements firing live ammunition on protesters, resulting in the death and injury of scores of citizens. We reiterate our initial point by stating that the grievances driving the protests are legitimate, and also condemn the activities of hoodlums, who have perpetrated acts to cause mayhem and undermine the essence of the peaceful protests. This coalition stands with other Nigerians in affirming our constitutional right to protest.

  1. We call on all friends of Nigeria to sustain pressure on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in members of the armed forces carrying out these killings of unarmed protesters. We demand the investigation of perpetrators of the ongoing atrocities targeted at unarmed protesters.
  2. We call on the National Assembly to hold an emergency session to address the killing of protesters and hold a national public hearing to investigate the abuse of power and killing of peaceful protesters by security agencies and the failure to arrest thugs and hoodlums who attacked the #EndSARS protesters and innocent citizens across different states.
  3. This coalition calls on the International Criminal Court to open investigation to ongoing crimes against humanity being committed against the peaceful and unarmed #EndSars protesters in Nigeria. We also demand an open trial of all those involved in previous acts of police brutality, human rights abuse and crackdowns, which have led to the needless deaths of defenceless citizens.

Finally, the events of Tuesday October 20, 2020 is a reminder that our democracy is fragile and we the people must defy the odds and fight for a democracy generations to come will be proud of. We stand with Nigerian youths who defied the odds to make their voices heard. We mourn with Nigerians who have lost loved ones since the #EndSARS movement. We urge the youth to remain peaceful. The struggle has just begun, and the people of this country must brace up to take their destinies into their hands.

Signed:

1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)

2. Enough is Enough (EIE)

3. Partners for Electoral Reform

4. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

5. Centre for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD)

6. YIAGA Africa

7. Global Rights

8. Project Alert

9. Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC)

10. Paradigm Initiative (PIN)

11. Rule of Law and Accountability Centre (RULAAC)

12. HEDA Resource Centre

13. African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)

14. Community Life Project (CLP)

15. Protest to Power

16. Social Action

17.  Right to Know

18. Lawyers Alert

19. International Press Centre (IPC)

20. Private and Public Development Centre

21. South Saharan Social Development Organisation

22. Partners West Africa- Nigeria

23. Centre LSD

24. Connected Development (CODE)

25. Stakeholders Development Network (SDN)

26. BudgIT

27. CWCW Africa

28. Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA)

29. Invictus Africa

30. Alliance for Credible Election (ACE)

31. Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA)

32. Resource Centre for Human Rights (Chriced)

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FACT-CHECK: SSS Operatives Did Not Arrest Kano Protesters

By Fact Check

VERDICT: False

CLAIM:

On Saturday, October 17, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a report claiming that the State Security Services (SSS) in Kano state arrested some Nigerians protesting the insecurity in the Northern region of Nigeria.

The report published on Punch newspaper, the Cable and Inside Arewa News claimed that the security operatives in plain clothes arrested four “anti-government” protesters in Kano on Friday, October 16, 2020.

 According to the report, the protesters were also being detained by the SSS in Kano State.

FACT:

Investigations by the CDD show that no member of the group protesting the insecurity in the North was arrested or detained by operatives of the SSS.

CDD fact-checkers gathered that the SSS invited leaders of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG)under the chairmanship of Nastura Ashir Shariff in Kano.

The invitation extended to the CNG leaders by the SSS followed the group’s scheduled protest to raise the issue of the insecurity in the region for government’s improved intervention.

The leaders who arrived at the SSS office at 9.30 pm on Friday, October 16, 2020, had a meeting which lasted for six-hours with the security operatives.

The group members left the SSS office and continued with their planned protest on Saturday, October 17, 2020, with take-off from Daula Hotel to the Police Headquarters in Bompai, Kano.

At the State’s Police Headquarters, the group handed a letter to the Kano Commissioner of Police before dispersing.

Also, reacting to the reports of the arrest, Sheriff confirmed to CDD fact-checkers that, no member of his group was arrested or detained by the SSS.

Shariff said: “Well what happened was that on Thursday, October 14, we began our protest and hired thugs were sent to attack us, among the wounded were three journalists, on Friday we held a press conference condemned the act because the attack happened in front of police, but they did nothing”.

“We then decided to continue with the protest on Saturday, but police and DSS said we couldn’t do it because there will be no protest in Kano, they, therefore, invited us and we said to them no protest in Kano? For what reason? Protest is our civic and constitutional right. Protests are ongoing in the South, why are you trying to stop it here? We had a long discussion and later reached a consensus”.

“The reason some people thought we were arrested was that our larger members couldn’t reach us on our phones at the time we were at the DSS office because the meeting lasted more than six hours (from 9:30 pm to 3 am), so they thought we were arrested, but we were not”.

CONCLUSION:

Kano protesters were not arrested or detained by operatives of the SSS as widely reported.

CDD fact-checkers found out that members of the group who had started their protest on Thursday, October 15, 2020, against the insecurity in the North and were invited for a six-hours protest by the SSS on Friday, October 16, 2020.

The protesters left the Kano command of the SSS and continued with their protest the next day, Saturday, October 17, 2020.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them. You can also forward suspicious messages for verification via WhatsApp to +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Violent reprisal of Peaceful Protests Constitute Dangerous Assault on Citizens’ Constitutional Rights

By Uncategorized

Released 18 October 2020

In the last two weeks, the streets of Nigeria have been convulsing with protests and agitations. The clarion call as reflected in the multitude of young Nigerian voices is for an end to police brutality and all related abuses, which unaccountable policing has left in its wake. For the avoidance of doubt, these protests are legitimate, and young people who ignited the movement have a right to express their grievances using the weapon of protest.

While #EndSARS is focused on the immediate concern of a brutish policing system, the protesters are also inherently voicing their anger against a governance system, which has failed to reckon with them. #EndSARS is, therefore, an affirmation of citizen’s readiness to resist bad governance in all its ramifications beginning with inadequate government response over the prolonged trend of police brutality. The accumulated anger of citizens over decades of failure in the delivery of basic social services, endemic corruption, and impunity of political office holders has precipitated distrust of, and lack of confidence in the state and its institutions. These frustrations are visible in the pent-up anger, which has been boiling over in mass street protests in cities across the country.

Collectively, we affirm the validity of the protests, and the grievances driving the organization and mobilization of popular anger. Police brutality in particular, and the brutality of security, armed forces, and law enforcement agents towards citizens, in general, is a fact and a reality that cannot be contradicted. In this respect, we strongly condemn the thinly veiled threat issued by the Military High Command, wherein the unacceptable move is being made to crush the peaceful protests. Such a threat is ill-conceived in the face of legitimate citizens’ protest and a threat to constitutionally guaranteed rights. We call on the military to immediately withdraw its ill-advised attempt to undermine the constitutional freedom of citizens to voice their displeasure about the state of the country.

We reject in its entirety the move to draft in the military to quell the protests, even where there has been no violent conduct on the part of protesters.  The Military should remain in their barracks and at their duty posts, defending the territorial integrity of the country, and not deployed in a dangerous anti-people and anti-democratic operation to crush a people who are exercising their right to freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly. It is important we state here that the commencement of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is ill timed and will exacerbate the distrust of citizens.

It is important to let the Nigerian authorities know that the entire world is watching its response to the legitimate demands of the youth. The world is watching the state-sponsored assault on the freedom of expression, and association of Nigerians in the forms of illegal bans on a protest by the governor of Rivers State [CO1] and the authorities in the Federal Capital Territory. These bans are patently unlawful and constitute an ominous prelude to what we suspect would be a harsh clampdown on citizens.

The ongoing protests to end police brutality and compel sorely needed reform of the police and policing, is thus a legitimate movement, raising legitimate concerns, making legitimate demands, and as such because the movement is exercising universally recognized and constitutionally guaranteed rights, the movement must be protected, and not repressed.

We must reiterate here that the practice of dehumanizing citizens and stripping them of their dignity, which has become endemic in the security and defence sectors, is a manifestation of the institutional decay and systemic crisis of governance. This is a measure of the failure of political leadership by Nigeria’s ruling class. This is why what is expected of any responsible government, political leadership, and ruling class, is to step back and reflect and to undertake a radical overhaul and comprehensive root and branch reforms of the security and law enforcement agencies, as well as of the armed forces.

So far, we can confirm at least 13 persons have been extra judicially killed  in the course of the peaceful protest (Oyo – 4; Edo – 2; Ondo – 1; Osun – 2; and Lagos – 4). In addition is the attack on peaceful assembly in 8 states (Oyo, Lagos, Edo, Plateau, Anambra, FCT, Kano and Osun).  

We join the youths of Nigeria to demand:

  • Accountability for previous, current, and ongoing acts of the brutalization of citizens from the government and its agencies. Offending officers must be identified, investigated, prosecuted, and punished.

  •   That a mechanism is put in place to identify all previous and current victims of police brutality, to ensure that they get justice, including compensations.

  •    That all those arrested during the ongoing protest be released unconditionally.

  •      That the President constitutes and summons an emergency and inaugural meeting of the Nigeria Police Council [NPC] provided for in the 1999 CFRN [as amended], in section 216, and whose composition and functions were clearly stated in Part III [Supplemental and interpretation], sections 27 & 28 of the same constitution.

  • That the government moves beyond cosmetic approaches in responding to the yearnings of protesting citizens. Building confidence would involve moving speedily to implement key first steps, including the expeditious public trial of police officers who have been accused with evidence and are found to have perpetrated crimes, including extra-judicial killings, against the Nigerian people.

  •    That an independent and multi-stakeholder committee, including the acknowledged representatives of the protesting youths among others, be constituted to oversee the implementation, and undertake monitoring and assessment of the implementation of the Police Act 2020 as the basis for undertaking the institutional and systemic reforms that are urgently needed.

Finally, as we reject the repression of ongoing protests, we commend millions of Nigerian youths who have defied the odds to make their voices heard. This is just the beginning as we stand with the youths of Nigeria who have taken leadership to demand accountability and a better Nigeria. The struggle has just begun, and the people of this country must brace up to take their destinies into their hands.

Signed:

1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa)

2. Enough is Enough (EIE)

3. Partners for Electoral Reform

4. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

5.Centre for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD)

6. Yiaga Africa

7. Global Rights

8. Project Alert

9. Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC)

10. Paradigm Initiative

11. Rule of Law and Accountability Centre (RULAAC)

12. HEDA Resource Centre

13. African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)

14. Community Life Project (CLP)

15. protest to Power

16. Social Action

17. Take Back Nigeria Movement (TBN)

18. Right to Know

19. Lawyers Alert

20. Private and Public Development Centre

21. South Saharan Social Development Organisation

22. Partners West Africa- Nigeria

23. Centre LSD

24. Connected Development (CODE)

25. Stakeholders Development Network (SDN)

26. BUDGiT

27. CWCW Africa

28. Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centrer in Africa (PAACA)

29. Invictus Africa

30. Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA)

Femi Adesina Bai Bayyana Zanga-Zangar Neman Dakatar Da Yan Sandan SARS A Matsayin Shiririta Ba

By Fact Check

Tushen Magana:

A ranar Laraba, 14 ga watan Oktoban shekara ta 2020, masu tantance sahihancin labarai na Cibiyar Bunkasa Demokaradiyya Da Cigaba (CDD) sun gano yadda shafin bayyana ra’ayi da musayan bayanai na Twitter ya zama dandalin cece-kuce game da wata magana da aka danganta ta da mai baiwa shugaban kasa shawara ta fuskara yada labarai Femi Adesina.

Maganar da ta zama abin tattaunawa a wannan rana ta alakanta Mr. Adesina da bayyana zanga-zangar da yan matasan Najeriya keyi dan neman gwamnati ta dakatar day an sandan SARS da cewa shiririta ce.

Acikin wani bidiyon mai tsawon minti biyu da dakika biyu da aka yada a shafin na Twitter mai dauke da tambarin gidan talabijin na Channels Adesina yace shi anasa nazarin zanga-zangar da akeyi dan neman ruguza yan sandan SARS ba wani abu bane illa almara da shiririta mai cike da ban dariya.

Gaskiyar Magana:

Binciken da CDD ta gudanar game da batun bidiyon Adesinan ya gano cewa bidiyon da ake yadawa yanzu tsohon bidiyo ne kuma bashi da alaka da zanga-zangar kin jinin yan sandan SARS.

Hirar da ake zargen Adesina yayi da gidan talabijin na Channels din an dauke ta ne ranar 6 ga watan Agustan da ya gabata lokacin da ake gudanar da zanga-zangar neman juyin-juya hali ta #RevolutionNow.

Wani Karin binciken da CDD ta aiwatar ya gano cewa bidiyon da ake yadawa din an sauya masa fasali ne dan karkata fahimtar mutane zuwa yarda da cewa anyi hirar ne a ranar Laraba, 14 ga watan Oktoban da muke ciki.

Kammalawa:

Bidiyon da ake yadawa cewa mai magana da yawun shugaban kasa, Femi Adesina ya suffanta zanga-zangar da yan Najeriya keyi dan neman ruguza yan sandan SARS a matsayin wasan yara bidiyo ne na bogi.

Binciken CDD ya gano cewa asalin bidiyon da ake yadawa din an dauke shi ne a ranar 6 ga watan Agustan da ya gabata inda Adesinan yayi magana game zanga-zangar neman juyin-juya hali ta #RevolutionNow amma sai aka sauya masa fasali dan alakanta shi da zanga-zangar #EndSARS dake faruwa yanzu.

#AgujiYadaLabaranKarya

Kuna iya aikowa CDD labarai ko bayanan da kuke da shakku akansu dan ta tantance muku sahihancin su. Zaku iya turo labaran ta wannan lamba: +2349062910568 ko a shafukan mu na Twitter a @CDDWestAfrica ko @CDDWestAfrica_H

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa