Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says footage from the Lekki Toll Gate reveals that the men of the Nigerian Army are responsible for the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS demonstrators.
“From the footage we could see because there are cameras that are at that facility, it seems to be that they would be men in uniform, they should be Nigerian Army or something,” the governor told International broadcast station CNN.
When pressed further the governor said “it was military officers who fired gunshots at peaceful protesters, I mean they were there and that’s what the footage shows.”
The Lagos state governors’ comments comes less than 24-hours after human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana told ARISE News that a group he oversees Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB) had identified the barracks where officers of the military who shot protesters at the Lagos Lekki Toll Plaza proceeded from.
“We have already identified the barracks where the soldiers left for Lekki, we have already identified the barracks,” said Falana on Monday.
The incident has since triggered an outrage within the country and the international community.
The army has persistently denied being responsible for the Lekki shootings with the federal government saying it would collaborate with the Lagos state government to investigate the tragic incident.
Sanwo-Olu while on the CNN programme said the CCTV footage would be available to the state judicial panel probing brutality of security operatives.
“We will be committed to a full investigation of what happened and people would be held accountable. They certainly would be held accountable. We would do everything possible to ensure that they are held accountable,” he said.
“People have claimed that their friends and family members have been killed. So, this Judicial Panel of Enquiry is meant to bring all of these stories to accountability; where we can make restitutions, where families can prove and identify officers that were responsible for this.
“I am not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; I am Governor of a State. The report would be out and we would channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the state to ensure that every one that is found culpable is accountable for the act.”
He described as untrue reports that suggested pressure from the international community made President Muhammadu Buhari not to speak about the incident.
Buhari had refused to address the nation when the protests began and when he finally did, he refused to comment on the Lekki killings.
The governor said he believes that the #EndSARS campaign yielded positive results.
“There is no international pressures whatsoever. These are genuine protesters that we all believe and we all have knowledge about,” he said.
“I was the first governor among governors with due respect to all my other colleagues who came out to meet with them, who started from the front. I carried the EndSARS flags with them. I met with them twice and we all had the rally together and walked together.
“I genuinely believe there would be change for two reasons. One, what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. Number two is that it was a clarion call for all of us in government, especially understanding and realising what the youths truly want us to be doing. So, it hit all of us like a thunderbolt and it was just a wake-up call.”
By Abel Ejikeme