- The Nigerian Army in Lagos has denied allegations that soldiers shot at EndSARS protesters on Tuesday, October 20
- The spokesman of the 81 Division of the force, Major Osoba Olaniyi, said that soldiers were never involved in the protest
- Olaniyi added that the state government gave the order for the deployment of the soldiers after the curfew was imposed
The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Victoria Island, Lagos, from where soldiers were deployed to Lekki Tollgate during EndSARS protests on Tuesday, October 20, has denied claims that its men opened fire on peaceful protesters.
Major Osoba Olaniyi, the acting deputy director of the division's public relations department, on Tuesday, October 27, admitted that the order for the deployment of soldiers was given by the Lagos state government.
Olaniyi said that the order from the state government came after the curfew was imposed following vandalisation of private and public properties, including police stations, Vanguard reports.
He added that the interventions of the soldiers were in keeping with standing procedures for internal security operations, adding that the allegations are not only false but also mischievous.
Part of the statement issued by Olaniyi denying the viral claims read:
“This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country. At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian. From the onset of the EndSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army, Lagos was involved.
“However, the decision to call in the Military was taken by the Lagos State Government after a 24-hour curfew was imposed. This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
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"The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that Lagos State Government requested for the Military to intervene, in order to restore normalcy.
“The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for internal security operations. And all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement, ROE for internal security operations."
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state had said that those behind the shootings of protesters at the Lekki toll plaza on Tuesday, October 20, would be brought to book.
The governor made this known in a statement by his chief press secretary, Gboyega Akosile, on the evening of Monday, October 26.
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