SOLDIERS DEPLOYED TO LEKKI TOLLGATE CAME WITH LIVE AMMUNITION AND RUBBER BULLETS, GENERAL REVEALS

Oladimeji Ramon

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The Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, has explained that Phase Four of the military internal security operation, which was deployed in the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, involved the use of both live and blank ammunition.

Taiwo said a portion of the troops that operated at the toll gate on that night were indeed armed with live bullets.

He, however, maintained that only soldiers with blank bullets fired shots into the air.

The general stated this on Saturday at the resumed proceedings of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20 by soldiers.

Taiwo, who had earlier made a presentation before the panel in defence of the Nigerian Army on November 14, returned on Saturday for cross-examination by two counsel for #EndSARS protesters, Messrs Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN) and Mr Adesina Ogunlana.

When Olumide-Fusika asked Taiwo if soldiers who went to the toll gate carried guns, Taiwo said, “When you are talking of guns, you are talking about high-calibre guns. They were carrying rifles; not guns.”

But Olumide-Fusika told him that a visit to the toll gate after the shooting incidents showed marks or indentations suggestive of gunshots.

Responding, Taiwo said, “Definitely, a portion of the Force will carry live bullets, in case they are attacked. But the soldiers that formed the firing team, who fired, used blank bullets. And that is why you watched the video and saw exactly what happened.”

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