Nigerian Army Deny AGF Malami’s Claim About Hoodlums in Military Uniform
Commander of the 81 Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Brigadier-General Ahmed Taiwo, has said on Friday he was not aware of the statement by the attorney general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) that hoodlums in military uniform might be behind the shooting at the tollgate.
He made the denial at the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry sitting on Saturday.
Nigerian Sketch earlier reported the AGF to have said “hoodlums” may have impersonated the Nigerian Army to shoot peaceful protesters at the Lekki incident.
But first, CCTV footage of the Lekki Tollgate incident, which was played by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, showed that the Nigerian Army deployed seven military trucks to the scene.
The footage was played before a packed audience at the panel, and the timestamp in the video showed people running from the vicinity of Oriental Hotel towards the direction of the tollgate in the Lekki area at 6.43pm.
The footage showed that the scene was calm until about 6.43pm when people could be seen running towards the tollgate from the Oriental Hotel end. Two minutes later, at 6.45pm, military vehicles, with flashing headlights, arrived on the scene. The some of the military trucks were white coloured, while the others were black.
At 6.53pm, about eight minutes after the arrival of the military vehicles, the tollgate went into a blackout. Two minutes later, at 6.55pm, one of the military vehicles drove through the tollgate to the other end where the crowd of protesters was gathered.
At 6.45pm, the military arrived, and at least seven trucks were seen in the footage. At 6.53pm, lights appeared to have been turned off at the tollgate facility and the footage began playing in a blurry black and white video.
At 6.55pm, the military drove through the tollgate, and at 6.57pm, flashes of gunfire could be seen in the footage.
At 7.09pm, the protesters appeared to be surrounded on all sides by the military vehicles, which had flashing lights.
The video footage was recorded by the Lekki Consession Company (LCC), and showed events that took place hours before the arrival of the Nigerian Army at the scene. It shows that the protest was peaceful till the moment the soldiers approached the protest ground and when the shooting started at 7: 48pm.
When Olumide-Fusika, consel the #EndSARS protesters asked Taiwo if he was aware that the Nigerian Army initially denied that soldiers were at the tollgate, the general said, “The first statement was borne out of the fact that we did not have the full facts at that time. The fact is that nobody was sent to the Lekki tollgate to break up any protest,” stressing that the soldiers were only passing through the tollgate on their way towards Epe.
“But you were there,” Olumide-Fusika told him, in reply, Taiwo said, “I was not at that tollgate.”
The panel adjourned till next Friday after discharging Brigadier-General Taiwo.
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