The highest military officers stated troopers didn’t shoot at or kill anybody, including that there was no bloodbath on the tollgate.
A prime army officer and Commander, 9 Brigade, Nigerian Military, Brig Gen Musa Etsu-Ndagi instructed the panel on Friday, November 6, 2020, that he acquired a cellphone name from the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the night time of October 20, that a sure Lt Col Bello was shooting at Lekki tollgate.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State. (TRIBUNE)
However Bello stated he solely fired clean ammunition upward to scare hoodlums, who have been throwing objects at troopers.
He stated the protesters have been joyful to see troopers, including that he provided certainly one of them water and drinks whereas persuading them to go house and observe the 24-hour curfew imposed by the Lagos State Authorities.
He stated, “I persuaded the group to go house and observe the 24-hours curfew declared by the state authorities. However surprisingly, the hoodlums continued throwing stones, bottles and different harmful objects at us and have been burning tyres. I once more fired some clean ammunition upward to scare the hoodlums away. However some protesters who have been nonetheless on the tollgate sitting down quietly got water and drinks by me whereas pleading with them to go house.”
“We didn’t fireplace on the protesters. Clean ammunition have been fired upward to scare the hoodlums from the group. No person was shot lifeless on the Lekki tollgate, there was no bloodbath as claimed. The declare that the army took away lifeless our bodies was not true. The protesters have been joyful to see us as indicated in a few of the video clips of 20th October 2020.”
Brig Gen Francis Omata, one other army officer listed as one of many witnesses of the Nigerian Military earlier than panel, stated by the point he arrived on the tollgate at about 7:30 on the night time, the protest had turned rowdy and violent.
Omata stated, “On arrival on the tollgate at about 7.30pm, I met a rowdy state of affairs. I additionally met the Commanding Officer, 65 Battalion (Bello), who briefed me on the state of affairs. He briefed me that he met a hostile crowd, hoodlums blended with the protesters, who have been chanting and throwing stones at them. I used to be capable of disperse the group by firing clean ammunition into the air.
“At this level, stones and sticks have been being thrown at us. Then I moved to a protected space and briefed Normal Officer Commanding 81 Division, Maj Gen Godwin Ahamefuna Umelo by cellphone.
“The Normal Officer Commanding directed me to pacify the hostile crowd and transfer the troops again to base. Nevertheless, the group nonetheless continued chanting #EndSARS. I then instructed the troops to withdraw to base.”
In the meantime, Legal professional Normal of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has stated that the lads caught on tape firing right into a crowd of peaceable protesters on the Lekki toll may be hoodlums masquerading as soldiers.
Malami stated it’s “pre-emptive” to conclude that there had even been shootings, including that “hoodlums” might have been employed to create a scene.