We did not shoot live bullets on #EndSARS protesters – Nigerian Army tells panel

The on Saturday denied using live ammunition on unarmed #EndSARS , during the alleged Oct. 20 at the Lekki Tollgate before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

The Command made the denial before the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.

Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Division, Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, who testified on behalf of the said that the had fired blank ammunition into the air to disperse on the night of the alleged .

Brig. General Taiwo, who gave a presentation to the panel with the use of a projector, played a footage which showed standing in front of singing and firing their weapons into the air.

He said there would have been a lot of fatalities if the 600m live ammunition normally used by the were used to disperse the #EndSARS protesters.

Taiwo said that had managed to disperse most of the #EndSARS protesters, and had even shared drinks from protesters who had remained at the Lekki Tollgate.

General Taiwo said he was monitoring the situation on the internet, and that it was after the departure of the that set the tollgate on .

He said that non-kinetic (non violent) means was used in the ’s rules of during the protests.

Following his revelation, Taiwo through the counsel of the Nigerian , Mr Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), presented four spent blank ammunition to the panel as evidence.

He also told the panel that there was a lapse in communication between the Government and the Nigerian regarding the imposing and lifting of the curfew.

“Due to the urgency of the situation in the state, the governor declared a 24-hour curfew which was supposed to start at 4pm.

“They wanted everyone off the streets to deal with the , but after some observations the timing was shifted to 21:00 hours, but this timing was not communicated to the Nigerian Army.

“Be that as it may, we the Nigerian Army had already immediately deployed the 65 Battalion under the 81 Division Garrison to forestal all further and loss of lives.

“It is important to note that this deployment of contrary to reports, was done throughout Lagos to activate Phase 4 of the Internal Operations,” Taiwo said.

The officer told the panel that the Army had entered the Stabilisation Phase of the Internal Operations, and had started recovering looted items when the Government lifted the curfew without informing them.

“We were still recovering a lot of looted items which were given back to the owners on production of receipt or proof of ownership.

“If the curfew was not lifted we would have recovered a 100 times more than the items we recovered,” Taiwo said.

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