The Nigerian Army on Saturday told the Lagos judicial panel addressing cases related to the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, that the military did not shoot protesters with live bullets when soldiers were deployed to Lekki tollgate on October 20.
Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, disclosed this when he appeared before the Lagos panel on behalf of the army.
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, Taiwo said if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, had declared a 24-hour curfew on October 20, earlier scheduled to begin at 4 pm. However, the time was changed to 9 pm afterwards.
A few minutes before 7 pm, men in army uniform arrived the Lekki tollgate where #EndSARS protesters had gathered and forcefully dispersed the protesters.
Giving a breakdown of what happened at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, Taiwo said that Sanwo-Olu invited the army to restore order after the #EndSARS protests degenerated into crisis.
“The situation was so dire and they wanted everyone off the streets. If you like, sleep in your office; if you like, stay at home if you are near your house, but get off the streets and let us deal with the criminals and hooligans,” Taiwo said.
“After some observation, this timing was shifted to 2100 hours, that is 9 pm. However, this timing was not communicated to the Nigerian Army.
“Be that as it may, the Nigerian army deployed immediately to forestall further violence and loss of lives,” he concluded.