The Lagos State Police Command has condemned the inhumane acts levelled against some individuals arrested during the protest at the Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday. The spokesman of the police in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, said that the officer-in-charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, DCP Adegoke Fayoade, had been ordered to analyse a trending video showing the arrested suspects being subjected to dehumanising conditions. He said the persons responsible for the act would be brought to book. Mr Adejobi said, “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a viral video where some arrested EndSARS protesters were being molested in a bus by some individuals after their arrest. The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who was piqued by this unprofessional and inhuman act, has ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State CID, Panti, DCP Adegoke Fayoade, to analyse the video and bring to book whoever that must have been responsible for the act. CP Hakeem Odumosu reiterates that, inasmuch as the command is resolute in enforcing all laws in the state, it will not deviate from the Standard Operating Procedure of the Nigeria Police Force and provisions of the law in discharging its duties; noting that the command will fish out those responsible for the molestation and ensure they are punished for their unprofessional conduct.”

The Nigerian government has raised its borrowing limit as a proportion of gross domestic product to 40%, from 25%, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said in a document. The DMO said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting on February 10 approved the new Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy for Nigeria, for the period 2020-2023. The DMO said it will target a 10-year average tenor of obligations in its portfolio, mainly from the domestic markets, with long-term securities making up at least 70% of the stock. The new strategy will also ensure that government debt is sustainable, the DMO said. “The new Strategy had to be re-worked to reflect the global and local economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and incorporates data from the revised 2020 Appropriation Act and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework 2021-2023. Thus, the new MTDS adequately reflects the current economic realities and the projected trends.” The IMF in its latest report said Nigeria’s public debt is projected to increase to 34% of GDP in 2020 from 29% in 2019, and will rise to about 36.4% in the medium term. Interest payments as a proportion of revenues, estimated at 92.6% in 2020, are projected to decline to 60.8% in 2021. The figure would rise to 94.1% of revenue by 2025, the lender said. A

The governors of Oyo and Ondo states, Seyi Makinde and Rotimi Akeredolu visited the crisis-ridden Shasha community in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Sunday. During the visit, the governors appealed for calm and peaceful coexistence between the Hausa community and their Yoruba hosts. Members of both communities in Shasha had clashed on Friday, leading to the death of a cobbler identified as Sakirudeen Adeola, and the destruction of properties worth millions of naira. Addressing the people at the Shasha market and the palace of the Baale Shasha, Mr Makinde and Mr Akeredolu urged the residents to stop taking laws into their hands. Mr Makinde specifically promised to give palliatives to those whose wares were destroyed during the crisis, saying that the two factions should eschew violence and allow peace to reign. Promising to rebuild burnt properties, the Oyo governor said, “Please, I want you to listen to me clearly. You cannot resort to self-help to solve the issue on the ground. All of you who are here are doing business with one another in one way or the other.” In his remarks, Mr Akeredolu, who said he was in Oyo State on behalf of the South-West governors, urged every aggrieved party to allow peace to reign. Earlier in an advertorial in a newspaper, Mr Akeredolu urged the residents of the South-West not to take the law into their hands, but remain law-abiding citizens. He said, “As governor of Ondo State who doubles as Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, it becomes very compelling for me to address all residents, in particular, the Yoruba-speaking people of our dear region as regards recent happening bordering on security.”

The UK Supreme Court on Friday allowed a group of 42,500 Nigerian farmers and fishermen to sue Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) in English courts after years of oil spills in the Niger Delta contaminated land and groundwater. Senior judges said there was an arguable case that UK-domiciled Shell, one of the world’s biggest energy companies, is responsible, in the latest test of whether multinationals can be held to account for the acts of overseas subsidiaries. Represented by law firm Leigh Day, the group of Nigerians have argued that the parent company Shell owed them a duty of care because it either had significant control of, and was responsible for, its subsidiary SPDC. Shell countered that the court had no jurisdiction to try the claims. “[The ruling] also represents a watershed moment in the accountability of multinational companies. Increasingly impoverished communities are seeking to hold powerful corporate actors to account and this judgement will significantly increase their ability to do so,” Daniel Leader, partner at Leigh Day, said. The decision comes almost two years after a seminal ruling by the Supreme Court in a case involving mining firm Vedanta. The judgement allowed nearly 2,000 Zambian villagers to sue Vedanta in England for alleged pollution in Africa. That move was seen as a victory for rural communities seeking to hold parent companies accountable for environmental disasters. Vedanta ultimately settled out of court in January. Nigeria’s Ogale and Bille communities allege their lives and health have suffered because repeated oil spills have contaminated the land, swamps, groundwater and waterways and that there has been no adequate cleaning or remediation. SPDC is the operator of oil pipelines in a joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation which holds a 55% stake, Shell which holds 30%, France’s Total with 10%, Italy’s Eni with 5%. In 2015, Shell agreed to pay out 55 million pounds ($83.4 million) to the Bodo community in Nigeria in compensation for two oil spills, which was the largest ever out-of-court settlement relating to Nigerian oil spills.