“The soldiers they were both given both live and blank bullets. In this particular case, we saw that these protests had been infiltrated by some hoodlums,” Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo mentioned in his testimony to the Lagos Judicial panel of inquiry into the incident.
“You had peaceful protesters no doubt. But there were also hoodlums who sought to take advantage. That is why they were armed (with) blank bullets in addition to the live (bullets) they were carrying.”
This is the primary time the Nigerian military has admitted having reside rounds on the Lekki toll gate. The military assertion additionally contradicts earlier statements concerning the incident together with from Taiwo himself who informed the judicial panel beforehand that the troopers had been firing within the air and firing clean ammunition.
In the aftermath of the taking pictures, the military denied any involvement, describing reviews of the incident as “fake news,” earlier than backtracking and saying that troopers had been current however fired their weapons within the air and used blanks, not reside rounds.
The CNN investigation included proof that bullet casings from the scene matched these utilized by the Nigerian military when taking pictures reside rounds, based on present and former Nigerian navy officers.
Two ballistics specialists additionally confirmed with CNN that the form of the bullet casings point out they used reside rounds, which contradicts the military’s earlier declare they fired blanks.
Verified video footage — utilizing timestamps and information from the video information — reveals troopers who look like taking pictures within the path of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses set up that after the military withdrew, a second spherical of taking pictures occurred later within the night, by police, based on witnesses who spoke to CNN.
The police wouldn’t remark to CNN, however did deny ever taking pictures at protesters in a tweet.
It painted an image of how members of the Nigerian military and the police shot on the crowd, killing at the least one particular person and wounding dozens extra.
Saturday’s admission by Nigeria that reside rounds had been deployed is one more in a collection of continually altering narratives as to what occurred on October 20 at Lekki toll gate, the place protesters had gathered to exhibit in opposition to police brutality.
On Thursday, Minister for Information and Culture Lai Mohammed mentioned that the navy “fired blank ammunition in the air.” He additionally dismissed the CNN investigation as “fake news” and “misinformation.”
A US State Department spokesperson informed CNN on Saturday, that they had been “closely following the Government of Nigeria’s response” to the occasions at Lekki Toll Gate and mentioned, “We urge that the investigation be thorough, impartial, and appropriately transparent and that perpetrators be held accountable.”