The Nigerian Army has insisted that only blank bullets containing gunpowder were fired at the Lekki Tollgate area of Lagos State on October 20, 2020.
Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, made this known on Saturday when he appeared before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the state government to investigate cases of police brutality.
He also insisted that the military only fired into the air and not directly at the #EndSARS protesters.
While explaining that the blank bullets used cannot cause any damage to the flesh, Brigadier Taiwo said if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot.
He reiterated the Army’s position that they were deployed to the scene on the orders of the state government.
While a curfew had been put in place to contain the violence that had broken out in parts of the state by persons who hijacked the peaceful protests, the army said it did not get the update that the timing which had initially been set to commence at 4:00 pm, was shifted to 9:00 pm.
Brigadier General Taiwo also maintained that 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.
Furthermore, he claimed that after the soldiers left the area, hoodlums went on to destroy the toll gate plaza.
The army had initially described reports of its involvement in the shooting as fake news before admitting to being present at the scene.
Viral reports online had insinuated that not only were they present, but they shot at and killed several persons and allegedly hid the bodies.
Both the army and the state government have, however faulted the reports, insisting that only two persons had been confirmed dead from the incident.
“Two dead bodies. That is what we have seen from all the morgues, that is what we have going to hospitals, that is what we have seen as records,” governor Sanwo-Olu had said in an interview with CNN.