The Nigerian army has said it took live rounds to Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, when #EndSARS protesters were dispersed after two weeks of converging on the place.
Commander of military intelligence, 81 division of the Nigerian Army, Ibrahim Taiwo while testifying before the judicial panel the Lagos state government set up to probe the incident.
Commenting on the incident while being cross examined by Olumide Fusika, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Taiwo said the live rounds were not used on protesters.
He said they were meant for the protection of the army team that was deployed to restore order in the state.
The army commander said while the soldiers who opened fire used blank bullets, their colleagues with live rounds were on ground to protect from suspected hoodlums who fomented trouble.
“The soldiers there were both given both live and blank bullets. In this particular case, we saw that these protests had been infiltrated by some hoodlums,” he said.
“You had peaceful protesters no doubt. But there were also hoodlums who sought to take advantage. That is why they were armed [with] blank bullets in addition to the live [bullets] they were carrying.”
A CNN investigation indicted the army of firing live bullets directly into the crowd of protesters, reportedly killing some and wounding many.
Controversy trailed the shooting. The army initially denied it sent soldiers to the tollgate, but recanted after Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor, said soldiers were at the tollgate on the night of the shooting.
Admitting that its men were present at the tollgate, the army said they were called in on the request of the governor.
While Sanwo-Olu said two protesters died after the incident, Taiwo said the governor was misinformed.
Credit: The cable