The Nigerian Army has admitted deploying live rounds to disperse peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos state, the country’s commercial capital.
Brigadier-general Ahmed Taiwo, the Commander, 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Lagos on Saturday told a Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged killing of protesters at the toll gate that phase Four of the military internal security operation, which was deployed in the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, involved the use of both live and blank ammunition.
He told the judicial panel that a portion of the troops that operated at the toll gate on that night were indeed armed with live bullets, but maintained that only blank bullets were shot into the air.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the army had denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as “fake news,” before backtracking and saying that soldiers were present but fired their weapons in the air and used blanks, not live rounds.
“Definitely, a portion of the Force will carry live bullets, in case they are attacked. But the soldiers that formed the firing team, who fired, used blank bullets. And that is why you watched the video and saw exactly what happened,” Taiwo explained during a cross-examination session at the day’s sitting.
By Abel Ejikeme