Nigeria

  1. Violent mobs hijack #EndSars protests

    Nduka Orjinmo

    BBC News, Abuja

    This is what the peaceful protesters have always feared, mobs hijacking the protests to unleash mayhem.

    The announcement by Lagos authorities is on the heels of thugs reportedly setting fire to a police station in the Orile part of the state, as widespread protests continue in Nigeria over police brutality.

    Videos posted on social media show the police station burning, with people standing outside cheering.

    It is not clear if there were officers inside the building at the time or how the thugs managed to set the building aflame.

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    In one video, some people can be seen throwing objects at the police station moments before the fire breaks out.

    Authorities in the state had ordered schools to shut from Tuesday as violence escalated in some parts of the state amid peaceful protests against police brutality.

    On Monday, hoodlums attacked police in the Yaba area of Lagos, destroying police trucks and chasing officers away. Hoodlums have also been sighted in some areas, erecting roadblocks and charging motorists a fee.

    This is the second successive day that a police station has been torched in Nigeria, as organisers of peaceful protests say their demonstrations have been taken over by sponsored thugs.

    In the southern Edo state on Monday, police say two police stations were attacked with hoodlums burning cars and stealing police equipment. There were also jailbreaks at two prisons in the state, leading the government to declare a curfew there.

    In the capital, Abuja, protesters accuse the police of backing armed thugs who attacked peaceful demonstrators, leading to the death of three persons and burning several cars.

    The police have not yet commented on the accusation.

    Protesters, who have largely been peaceful since demonstrations broke out two weeks ago, accuse authorities of sponsoring the armed thugs to disrupt the protests and promote violence, to justify sending in the military and use of force by security.

  2. BreakingLagos imposes 24-hour curfew blaming protest 'anarchy'

    The governor of Nigeria's most populous state, Lagos, has announced a 24-hour curfew starting 16:00 local time.

    Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said anti-police brutality protests in the city had turned violent after being infiltrated by criminals.

    "As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state," he said in a statement.

    Under the terms of the curfew, "nobody except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets," the governor said.

  3. Nigerians warned protests could increase Covid-19 cases

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    #EndSARS protesters during one of the demonstrations
    Image caption: Face masks and social distancing are of concern

    Nigeria's Covid-19 task force has warned that the country could see a spike in coronavirus cases due to the ongoing anti-police brutality protests.

    The task force chairman Boss Mustapha said protesters aren't complying Covid-19 safety protocols such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

    He described the protests happening the country as "super-spreader events," and asked people to stay away.

    Nigeria has so far recorded 61,558 confirmed cases with 56,697 recoveries and 1,125 deaths, according to the country's health ministry.

    Thousands of Nigerians have participated in #EndSARS protests for almost two weeks calling for major police reforms.

    Many protesters have been injured during the demonstrations, and Amnesty International says 15 have been killed - though this number has been disputed.

    The government's move to disband the hated Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) has not stopped the protests as demonstrators are widening their demands to include better governance.

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  4. Cocaine found 'hidden in bras' at Ethiopian airport

    Desta Gebremedhin

    BBC Tigrinya

    Cocaine that was being smuggled by the travellers
    Image caption: Fourteen suspects have been arrested

    Police have arrested 14 suspects for "trying to smuggle cocaine" through Ethiopia's main airport in the capital, Addis Ababa.

    Ethiopian federal police said the suspects, 13 Nigerians and one Brazilian, were found with 14kg of cocaine concealed in their luggage, underwear and had even swallowed some of it.

    The suspects had arrived from São Paulo, Brazil, on Monday.

    They were detained at the airport, according to Narcotics Operations Commander Mengisteab Beyene.

    Ethiopian police say they have seized 39kg of cocaine and 36kg of cannabis over the past three months.

  5. Lagos schools to close amid #EndSARS protests

    A demonstrator holds a sign during protest over alleged police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria October 17, 2020
    Image caption: Protesters blocked access to Nigeria's biggest airport

    The authorities in Nigeria's commercial hub, Lagos, have ordered school closures following widespread disruption caused by ongoing protests against police brutality.

    Lagos state's education head Folasade Adefisayo said the safety of students and staff working in schools could not be guaranteed.

    A new date for the return to classes will be announced later, but schools have been urged to use distance learning in the meantime.

    The order to close school was given came moments after protesters blocked access to the city's main international airport by barricading the road.

    Widespread demonstrations continued across several Nigerian cities on Monday. There were reports of chaos in the capital, Abuja, as well as in Benin city and Kano.

    The protests have continued despite authorities agreeing to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars). Many critics say the Swat unit which replaced it is merely Sars by another name.

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  6. Nigerian police facilities 'attacked'

    Police in Nigeria say that its facilities in the southern city of Benin in Edo state have been attacked by "people posing as #EndSars protesters", referring to the demonstrations against police brutality that have been going on for almost two weeks.

    The "protesters" took arms and ammunition from the armoury and freed suspects being held, police said in a statement posted on Twitter.

    It added that some that some of the facilities had been set on fire:

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    The statement also said that everything was being done to bring the situation under control.

    The authorities in the southern Edo state have imposed a 24-hour curfew saying that "hoodlums" had taken advantage of the #EndSars protests.

  7. Nigeria state imposes curfew amid jailbreak

    Nduka Orjinmo

    BBC News, Abuja

    Map of Nigeria

    Authorities in Nigeria's southern Edo state have imposed a 24-hour curfew following what it describes as "incidents of vandalism and attacks carried out by hoodlums in the guise of #ENDSARS protesters."

    Huge protests against police brutality continued in the state on Monday with several reports of riots breaking out in different locations and a jailbreak at a detention facility.

    Secretary to the state government, Osarodion Ogie, who announced the curfew said it is to take effect from 16:00 Monday until further notice.

    “This decision has become necessary because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of the #ENDSARS protests.

    “While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state,” Ogie said.

    Earlier on Monday, there were multiple reports of prisoners escaping a correctional facility in the Oko part of the state.

    In videos posted on social media, some men can be seen scaling a high barbed-wire fence said to be the prison walls along the Sapele road in Edo state.

    In this video posted by Nigerian broadcaster TVC, protesters can be seen throwing objects at the prison gate and encouraging inmates to scale the fence:

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    Widespread demonstrations continued across several Nigerian cities on Monday as protesters called for an end to police brutality and reforms in the sector.

    The protests have continued despite authorities agreeing to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

    On Sunday, protesters occupied the country's central bank in the capital Abuja, but reports say they were targeted by armed thugs in the early hours of Monday.

    There is also an increased presence of armed army personnel in the capital days after the military offered to step in warning that "subversive elements and trouble makers" were exploiting the situation.

  8. Nigeria denies involvement in #EndSARS 'arrests' in Egypt

    The Nigerian government has denied any involvement in the arrest of #EndSARS protesters in Egypt's capital, Cairo.

    The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Chairperson, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Egyptian authorities were enforcing their restrictions on public gatherings.

    She said the protesting Nigerians were not arrested at the Nigerian embassy.

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    The #EndSARS protests, which call for an end to police brutality in Nigeria, have spread to different parts of the world with those in the diaspora expressing solidarity.

    The Nigerian government disbanded the hated Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) but the protesters want major police reforms.

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  9. Photographing Friday prayers at #EndSARS protests

    Social media has been central to the anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria for galvanising people both inside and outside the country.

    On Instagram, Nigerian photographers have been sharing their images from the demonstrations.

    Benson Ibeabuchi captured Friday prayers at one of the protest sites in Lagos:

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    Ugochukwu Emebiriodo has also been sharing images from the Lekki Toll Gate:

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    Ayobami Ogungbe shot these pictures at the protests:

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  10. Nigeria to set up teams to probe police brutality

    Is’haq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    Protesters in Lagos on October 13, 2020

    Nigeria's government has ordered the setting up of judicial panels in all the 36 states to investigate allegations of police brutality.

    The panels will receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, including those linked to the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as Sars.

    The panels will also investigate incidents of police using excessive force against protesters since demonstrations started last week.

    This is in addition to an independent panel of investigation to be set up by Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission.

    Thousands of Nigerians have been protesting in major cities against police brutality.

    Rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the use of force against demonstrators during the initial days of the protests.

    They have called for police reforms and the prosecution of those responsible for brutality.

    Amnesty said some 10 people were killed in the protests and hundreds injured.

    The governor of Lagos state said police officers who allegedly opened fire on protesters there have been arrested and are being tried. But the demonstrators appear unsatisfied.

  11. Twitter emoji backs #EndSARS protests

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Twitter has launched an emoji in support of anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria.

    The CEO of the social media platform, Jack Dorsey, tweeted the #EndSARS hashtag with the new emoji on Friday morning.

    Screen grab showing the emoji

    The emoji, a raised fist in the colours of the Nigerian flag, has already been widely used on the social media platform.

    Meanwhile, the Twitter account of Nigeria's broadcasting authority has been hacked.

    The hackers are sharing messages in support of the protests.

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    This is the second week of demonstrations against police in brutality which started online and have spread to the streets of cities across Nigeria and abroad, including in London and Berlin.

    The protests initially called for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), a police unit widely accused of extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings.

    However following an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday that the unit would be dissolved, protesters have called for further reforms, including compensation for the families of victims and better funding for the police.

  12. Video content

    Video caption: From End Sars to End Swat: Why are Nigerians protesting and what do they want?

    How and why did Nigeria's End Sars protests turn into End Swat protests?

  13. Policemen arrested for attacking Nigeria protesters

    The authorities in Nigeria's commercial hub, Lagos, have arrested police officers who attacked protesters on Monday in ongoing demonstrations against police brutality.

    Local media outlets report that the four policemen had fired live ammunition at protesters in the city's Surulere area.

    Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, named the four policemen who he said were facing a disciplinary trial:

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    Governor Sanwo-Olu also said that the state had established a 200m naira ($521,000; £404,000) fund to compensate victims of police brutality.

    The federal government has banned protests in the capital, Abuja, citing public safety measures to tackle Covid-19.

    Demonstrations against police brutality have taken place in cities across Nigeria in the past week. The protests have continued despite authorities agreeing to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

    The unit has been accused of extrajudicial killings, extortion and torture, especially of young people.

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  14. UN condemns castration for rapists in Nigeria

    High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

    The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has condemned a recently signed law in Nigeria's Kaduna state that introduced tough penalties for convicted rapists.

    The law says males convicted of raping a child under the age of 14 should be surgically castrated and given the death penalty. Female adults convicted of raping a child will face salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes) and death.

    Ms Bachelet said evidence had shown that the certainty of punishment deters crime, rather than its severity.

    "Penalties like surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy will not resolve any of the barriers to accessing justice, nor will it serve a preventive role," she said in a statement.

    "Surgical castration and salpingectomy violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law," she added.

    Recent months have seen a growing public outcry over low conviction rates for sexual assaults across Nigeria. Kaduna is the only state in Nigeria with such legal provisions on rape.

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