The representative of the Nigerian Army on Saturday said the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, lied about the Lekki shooting and that the army was unhappy about it.
Ibrahim Taiwo, the Commander, 81 Division and Head, Military Intelligence Brigade, said this while testifying before the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry about the October 20 incident.
Mr Taiwo told the panel that there were lots of misinformation about the incident, all targeted at the army, but said they were particularly unhappy about the “lie” of Mr Sanwo-Olu.
“The Nigerian Army was not happy about two things, the first is the lie that he did not ask the army to intervene, while in fact, it was the proper thing to do as the police were already overrun.
“There were reasonable grounds to ask the army to intervene. Perhaps it was the way everything went that made him say so,” he said.
The commander said the governor made a call to the Chief of Army Staff and the General Officer Commanding the division after asking the Commander of 9 Brigade to intervene.
“The Commander 9 Brigade cannot intervene because the procedure does not follow and asked him to call the Chief of Army Staff and the GOC,” he said.
earlier reported that the 81 Division, Nigerian Army, said the Lagos State governor “invited them to intervene” in the crisis rocking the state.
Speaking further at the hearing, Mr Taiwo said the second thing the governor lied about was that two people died from the Lekki shooting.
“Yes, one person died in Admiralty Road through force trauma and Admiralty Road is three kilometers from that place (Lekki),” he said.
He added that the second deceased person was said to have been brought in by the police but was from Yaba and not Lekki.
The commander played several videos at the hearing and told the panel that the military neither used live ammunition on protesters, nor fired at them. He said they only shot blank ammunition into the air.
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“The army did not use live ammunition, it is against the rule of engagement. Blank ammunition were shot into the air to disperse them,” he claimed.
The army official further said the soldiers, after successfully dispersing many protesters, offered others water to drink and calmed them down.
Mr Taiwo said there was no killing of protesters at the Lekki tollgate as against the wide “misinformation” on social media to discredit the Nigerian army.
A investigation of the incident contradicts Mr Taiwo’s claim. This newspaper found that live ammunitions were fired and people injured and killed.