By Taiwo Okanlawon
The Nigerian Army has stated that the footage of the Lekki shooting aired by the Lagos Judicial Panel corroborated the fact that its personnel were attacked at Lekki Toll Gate.
Brigadier General, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo, the Commander, 81 Division Nigeria Army, disclosed this during his cross examination by one of the #EndSARS counsels, Olumide Fusika (SAN), after the CCTV has been played.
The troops were deployed throughout Lagos State on October 20 during the EndSARS protests to further check the violence and bloodshed that has erupted.
Earlier, the CCTV which was played by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, showed that Army deployed no fewer than seven trucks to the Lekki Tollgate.
According to the General, the officers were petted and stoned leaving one of them injured, adding that live ammunition were not used on the #EndSARS protesters.
“When you watched the footage, about 6:55 mark or thereabout you could see when they were running aggressively to the gate.
“There are various types of recording, you have those that were done at ground levels and those that were done aerially and from what I can see, even the CCTV corroborated our own accounts. It shows clearly when the aggressive movement was made and that was even in the daytime.
“Soldiers were petted and stoned when they got to the scene as we have seen in the footage,” he added.
Fusika also stated that the soldiers waited till about after 7 pm before they started shooting but General Taiwo denied saying the shooting occurred at about 6:43 pm.
General Taiwo also admitted that soldiers were given both live and blank bullets when they were deployed to scene.
When asked if the soldiers went to the scene with blanks or live ammunition, General Taiwo replied: “Definitely, a portion of the force carried live bullets in case they are attacked but the soldiers who formed the firing team as we have seen in the footage carried magazines charged will blank ammunitions and that is why we watched the video and saw what happened.”
“The soldiers they were both given both live and blank bullets. In this particular case, we saw that these protests had been infiltrated by some hoodlums,” Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo said in his testimony to the Lagos Judicial panel of inquiry into the incident.