Revelations as Nigerian Army Testifies at Lagos Panel
More revelations were made on Saturday at the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, as the Nigerian Army first agreed they were at the Lekki Tollgage on October 20, 2020.
The Army also agreed the shot at unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate but insisted they did not use live ammunition.
Part of their revelation was that the governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu invited the military and even misled them by not informing them that his government had shifted the timing of the curfew it imposed on the state on the fateful day.
And then came the revelation that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, ordered the deployment of soldiers undergoing training at military schools for the Lekki exercise due to the shortage of troops.
Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, commander of the 81 Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, who testified on behalf of the Nigerian Army made a power point presentation to the panel and played a footage which showed soldiers standing in front of singing protesters and firing their weapons into the air.
While trying to proof that blank ammunitions were used, he said there would have been a lot of fatalities if live ammunitions were used, saying “if it hits you in the chest or the bowels, the intestines come down.
“I am an expert in ammunition having spent so long in the army. Blank ammunition is slower and can do no damage to the flesh and you have nothing to fear except you take a rifle, put it against your eye and fire.
“Even if you put it against your skin and fire you will only have burn marks,” he said.
Taiwo told also the panel that there was a lapse in communication between the Lagos State government and the Nigerian Army regarding the imposing and lifting of the curfew.
“Due to the urgency of the security situation in the state, the governor declared a 24-hour curfew which was supposed to start at 4pm. They wanted everyone off the streets to deal with the hoodlums, but after some observations the timing was shifted to 21:00 hours, but this timing was not communicated to the Nigerian Army.”
Taiwo said because “the 81 Division was short of troops, the Chief of Army Staff gave an extraordinary order that all Army schools should be shut down and everybody should be brought to the operation.”
Taiwo insisted that troops neither shot at nor killed any of the #EndSARS protesters at the tollgate, saying only expended bullets were used. He said this was despite that “hoodlums came to challenge the soldiers and started pelting them with stones and bottles.”
“Blank expended ammunition contains only gunpowder, which just makes noise and a flash,” he said.
He explained that if live bullets were used, many of the protesters would have died, as one live bullet shot at a close range would kill at least three persons.
He stated, “If it hits you in the head, it will deposit the brain on the ground and go out. The entry hole is thin while the exit is wide, if it hits you in the chest or the bowels, the intestines (will) come down.”
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