Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, Commander 81 Division of the Nigerian Army told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the Lekki shooting incidence on Saturday.
The Army however suggested that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s denial might have been a result of the crisis that ensued following the protests.
“I spoke personally with the governor and said the Nigerian Army was not happy about his denial that he did not ask the army to intervene when in actual fact it was the right thing to do,” Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, Commander 81 Division of the Nigerian Army told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the Lekki incidence on Saturday.
“He called the Chief of Army Staff and called the GOC 81 Division and asked for intervention because the police have been overrun. But I am sure that after we have watched everything, we saw that he had more than reasonable grounds to ask the army to intervene, perhaps it was the way everything went that made him say so,” he added.
KanyiDaily had reported how Nigerian Soldiers opened fire on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate, killing nine people and injuring so many others on Tuesday night, October 21, 2020.
Following the incident, Governor Sanwo-Olu blamed “forces beyond his control” for the attack, while insisting that he had no authority over military engagements.
Initially, the Nigerian Army denied deploying soldiers to the shooting scene at Lekki, adding that videos showing soldiers opening fire on the protesters were untrue as it was photoshopped.
However, the Army Chief, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai admitted that Nigerian soldiers were deployed to Lekki, noting that the officers were only ensuring compliance with a curfew put in place by Sanwo-Olu, earlier that day during the #EndSARS protest.
During an interview with CNN on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu pointed accusing fingers at the Nigerian Army for being responsible for the shooting of protesters at Lekki toll gate.
Reacting in a statement titled “Alleged Massacre of Protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza”, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army said its troops were deployed to Lekki, but that its operatives never opened fire on the protesters.
The Army Division explained that the intervention of the soldiers was on the request of the Lagos State Government to restor order to the troubled state.