Security

#EndSARS: ‘Men in military uniforms shot at unarmed protesters’ – Sanwo-Olu admits

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday has admitted that men in military shot at unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza last week Tuesday.

He also said the Federal Government and Lagos State Government would ensure that those found culpable would be held accountable for their actions.

Speaking during an interview session with a CNN journalist, Becky Anderson’s “Connect the World with Becky Anderson programme” on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the CCTV footage at the Lekki Toll Gate would be available for the State Judicial Panel of Enquiry to review as part of the investigation into the Lekki Toll Gate shootings.

When questioned about the allegations that the unarmed #EndSARS protesters were shot by military men, the Governor responded by admitting from the footage seen, men in military uniforms were seen shooting

He said: “We will be committed to a full investigation of what happened and people would be held accountable. They certainly would be held accountable. We would do everything possible to ensure that they are held accountable.

“People have claimed that their friends and family members have been killed. So, this Judicial Panel of Enquiry is meant to bring all of these stories to accountability; where we can make restitutions, where families can prove and indentify officers that were responsible for this.

“I am not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; I am Governor of a State. The report would be out and we would channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the state to ensure that every one that is found culpable is accountable for the act.”

NewsWireNGR reported that witnesses say soldiers opened gunfire on unarmed protesters at Lekki toll gate, one of the key #EndSARS protest sites in Lagos, last week Tuesday with multiple casualties recorded, but the army had denied this, claiming the multiple eyewitness videos were “photoshopped”.

Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu rejected the insinuation that international pressure persuaded President Muhammadu Buhari and himself to finally speak out about what protesters demonstrated for so long in Lagos and in Nigeria on the #EndSARS campaign.

He said: “There are no international pressures whatsoever. These are genuine protesters that we all believe and we all have knowledge about. I was the first governor among governors with due respect to all my other colleagues who came out to meet with them, who started from the front. I carried the EndSARS flags with them. I met with them twice and we all had the rally together and worked together.”

“I genuinely believe there would be change for two reasons. One, what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. Number two is that it was a clarion call for all of us in government, especially understanding and realising what the youths truly want us to be doing. So, it hit all of us like a thunderbolt and it was just a wake-up call,” he said.

The Lekki toll gate shooting led to condemnation from the the international community and civil society; all raising concerns about the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters by the military.


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