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Nigerian students give Army, Police seven days to produce killer operatives of #EndSARS protesters



The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the leadership of the Nigerian Army and the police to produce members of their establishments involved in the alleged shooting and killing of protesting youths during last year’s #EndSARS protest.
Nigerian youth and civil society groups had on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of #ENDSARS protests, which led to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) allegedly notorious for human rights abuses, in some major cities in Nigeria.

NANS President, Sunday Asefon in a statement on Thursday, said despite the 2020 protests which lingered for days, young Nigerians are on a daily basis facing excruciating pains in the hands of security operatives.
He added that because of the failure of the army and police to produce the killer operatives within a stipulated time “for this crime against humanity, we are determined to hit the streets to ensure that justice is delivered to our fallen heroes as we also struggle to ensure an end to police brutality and all forms of human rights abuses in our country.”
The statement read, “The National Association of Nigerian Students NANS, conscious of our historical responsibility, today joined the teeming population of Nigerian youth, to commemorate the one year of the climax of 2020, nationwide protest against police brutality in our country, named the #EndSARS Protest.
“Beyond the nationwide commemoration, characterised by street protests and processions, the NANS used the opportunity of today’s ENDSARS memorial events, to review the incidences of October 20, 2020, and make specific demands from the Nigerian government, towards ensuring that we avoid a repeat of the unfortunate incident of October 20, 2020.
“Considering the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to finding a meaningful resolution to the crisis created by the agitation for an end to police brutality, coupled with much evidence gathered from our independent findings, through a series of stakeholders’ engagement today, via video footage and hospital reports, which has now confirmed that, the Nigerian Army operatives opened fire on thousands of young Nigerians who were peacefully gathered at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, an action that was followed up by subsequent assault on the injured and other protesters by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in the latter hours of same day.
“Consequent upon the above and ultimately in the spirit of ensuring justice for the several injured and murdered young Nigerians, as now confirmed by various evidence, the NANS hereby demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of every operative and officer of the Nigerian Army, the police and particularly the commanding officers of the Nigerian Army in Lagos, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and leaders of the security agencies in other parts of Nigeria, where young Nigerians were murdered on October 20, 2020.
“The NANS shall by this notice, also petition the United Nations Human Rights Council, governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, to immediately initiate a process of visa cancellation of these identified perpetrators of crime against Nigerian young people.
“We hereby issue a seven-day ultimatum to the leadership of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police force to provide everyone involved in this crime against humanity, without further delay. We are determined to hit the streets, to ensure that justice is delivered to our fallen heroes, as we also struggle to ensure an end to police brutality and all forms of human rights abuses in our country.”

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Google set to invest $9.5bn in US



Google has announced plans to invest $9.5bn in its US offices and data centers around the country in 2022, up from more than the $7bn it spent in 2021.

According to CNN, the big bet on office space was coming at a point Google was embracing a hybrid work model. The Alphabet-owned company has called for many of its employees to work in an office three days a week after two years of being fully remote.

The Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet and Google, Sundar Pichai, said, “It might seem counterintuitive to step up our investment in physical offices even as we embrace more flexibility in how we work.

“Yet we believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses and that doing so will make for better products, a greater quality of life for our employees, and stronger communities.”
Google said it would open an office in Atlanta this year and continue to develop and expand office space in Austin and New York. It added that it planned to continue investing in data centers in Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, among other states.

As part of the announcement, Google said it expected to create at least 12,000 new full-time jobs at the company this year.

Google and other tech companies were among the first businesses to shift to remote work when the pandemic hit in early 2020. But that shift always appeared to be temporary. Like others in Silicon Valley, Google had previously invested billions in expansive campuses and lavish office benefits for workers.

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European markets pull back amid doubts over latest Russian pledges over Ukraine



European stocks retreated on Wednesday following the latest round of talks between Russia and Ukraine, aimed at finding a solution to the conflict.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.8% in early trade, with autos shedding 1.9% to lead losses, while oil and gas stocks gained 1.7%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Finland’s Nokian Tyres fell 6.6%, while Sweden’s Lundin Energy added 4.7%.

Investor sentiment was boosted on Tuesday following negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Turkey, at which Russia’s deputy defense minister claimed Moscow had decided to “drastically” cut back its military activity near Ukraine’s capital.

Alexander Fomin, who spoke following the talks in Istanbul, said Russia would slow its military operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv in order for peace talks to progress. Russia previously claimed that it would reduce military operations in other parts of Ukraine but then continued its advance.

Growing hope for a cease-fire appeared to boost investor sentiment Tuesday, as Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 200 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures also climbed 0.6%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.7%. Meanwhile, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which spiked on the heels of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fell more than 4% to $100 per barrel.

Doubts have set in over the pledge, however, and while the Russian military has begun moving some of its troops in Ukraine away from areas around Kyiv to positions elsewhere in Ukraine, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby warned the troop movements do not amount to a retreat.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade as investors watch for developments surrounding the war in Ukraine. Stateside, traders are keeping tabs on a slew of key economic reports, while also monitoring the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday showed 11.3 million job openings, higher than the 11.1 million expected. The ADP will also release its private payrolls data ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report, on Friday.

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Lagos Assembly kicks against harassment of residents by police



Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, yesterday, cautioned police in the state against harassment, intimidation and extortion of residents.

Obasa said this on the floor of the House when lawmakers honoured outgoing Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, who has been promoted to Assistant Inspector-General, and is due to retire in January 2022.

Obasa said Odumosu was honoured as the first Commissioner of Police in the state to stand before the lawmakers and address Lagosians on his experience policing the state.

The Speaker thanked Odumosu for his openness and responsiveness to issues affecting the peace of the state.

“It is important to call on those behind you to know that the relationship between the police and the people need to be constantly improved upon,” Obasa said, adding that men of the Nigeria Police Force need to build more trust among the people.

“Everybody must be treated with respect, dignity and honour. And that is how we can earn respect. Policing should not be about harassment and extortion but building trust among the people and making them comfortable,” Obasa said.

The Commissioner of Police, who led a team of officers to the House, thanked the lawmakers for their support. According to him, nothing could have been achieved in terms of security and peace in the state without assistance of the House.

He said he would remain grateful to Lagosians for making it possible for him and his team to effectively manage the security of the state.

Odumosu, who described Lagos as ‘mini-Nigeria’, said proactivity of the Assembly led to the creation of laws that helped the police remain successful in the state.

He said the Cultism Prohibition Law also helped to reduce illegal associations in tertiary institutions in the state and enlightened property owners and residents.

“We promise to continue to excel in providing watertight security for people of the state,” he told the lawmakers. He also promised he would encourage his successor to sustain the relationship between the police and the House, while urging the lawmakers to extend their support to his successor.

“Policing Lagos is not a tea party. Without the laws in Lagos, it would have been difficult to police the state. Don’t get tired, don’t relent in making laws that would make Lagos maintain its place as the most peaceful state in Nigeria,” he said.

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