- The Nigerian Army says soldiers deployed to Lekki tollgate on Tuesday, October 20 did not fire directly at protesters
- According to the army, the soldiers fired shots into the air and not into the crowd
- The army also stated that bullets fired at the facility were blank bullets which cannot kill a human being
The Nigerian Army has insisted that only blank bullets containing gunpowder were fired at the Lekki tollgate area of Lagos state on Tuesday, October 20 as #EndSARS protesters converged at the facility.
Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier-General Ahmed Taiwo, made this known on Saturday, November 14 when he appeared before the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos state government to investigate cases of police brutality.
He also insisted that the soldiers deployed to the area only fired into the air and not directly at the #EndSARS protesters.
According to him, blank bullets used cannot cause any damage to the flesh, stressing that if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot.
He also reiterated the Army’s position that they were deployed to the scene on the orders of the state government.
He revealed the troops were not only deployed to the Lekki tollgate but also to other areas like Badagry, Ikorodu, Apapa, Alimosho, Epe, Lagos Island, and the entire state to restore normalcy.
Brigadier-General Taiwo earlier supported Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu's decision to call in soldiers to maintain the peace after hoodlums reportedly hijacked the peaceful protests.
The army general said Governor Sanwo-Olu's options were limited, adding that it was the right call to get soldiers to intervene in the situation.
Brigadier-General Taiwo also said that the businesses mostly attacked by hoodlums that hijacked the initially peaceful #EndSARS protests belonged to Igbos.
The army chief's words are contrary to recent claims in some quarters that Igbo youths were behind the looting and destruction in Lagos.
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