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The commander of the 65 Battalion, Bonny Camp, Victoria Island of the Nigerian Army, Salisu has said that soldiers did not shoot live ammunition at or kill ‘violent’ EndSARS protesters.
He said this in an oath filed before the judicial panel to explain what transpired at the Lekki shootings on Saturday.
Salisu also stated that the protesters were initially happy with the soldiers and he personally offered food and drinks to the protesters before persuading them to obey the curfew directive and go home.
He however said that the protesters eventually turned into a violent mob that stones and broken soldiers and the soldiers responding by shooting blank ammunition in the air. They did not kill anyone, and reports that they took dead bodies away are untrue.
“On getting to the tollgate, I persuaded the crowd to go home and observe the 24-hour curfew declared by the state government. But surprisingly, the hoodlums continued throwing stones, bottles and other dangerous objects at us and were burning tyre,”
“I again fired some blank ammunition upward to scare the hoodlums away. But some protesters who were still at the tollgate sitting down quietly were given water and drinks by me while pleading with them to go home.
“We did not fire at the protesters. Blank ammunition was fired upward to scare the hoodlums from the crowd. Nobody was shot dead at the Lekki tollgate, there was no massacre as claimed. The claim that the military took away dead bodies was not true. The protesters were happy to see us as indicated in some of the video clips of 20th October 2020.”
However, the Judicial panel Chairperson, Doris Okuwobi announced that the panel could not question the Commander and other top military officers at the probe because the youth representatives were absent from the probe.
The youth representatives, Temitope Majekodunmi and Olorunrinu, had stayed away from the probe to protest against the freezing of the account of key EndSARS protesters.
“We are confronted with a situation which prevented her from coming. We do not know if the two youth representatives will eventually pull out,” she had said.
“We do not want a situation where proceedings will go on and it is impugned that with controversy due to a lack of quorum.
“In all matters, we have to wait for them to join us, without them we are handicapped.”
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