The Nigerian army has admitted on Saturday that soldiers were given both live and blank bullets when they were deployed to the grounds of the protest at Lekki toll gate on October 20.
This is the first time so far that the army has come clean with the carrying of live bullets to Lekki tollgate where the shooting of peaceful protesters had occurred. Their recent statement goes a long way to confirm the key finding of the independent CNN investigation regarding the shooting incident.
This recent statement from the army also contradicts their previous statements about the shooting incident including the one from Brigadier Taiwo himself who told the judicial panel previously that the soldiers were firing blank ammunition.
The disclosure was made in the course of being cross-examined by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Olumide Fusika from the commander of the 81 division of the Nigerian Army.
While giving out his testimony to the Lagos Judicial panel of inquiry into the incident, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo still maintained that the soldiers who opened fire used only blank bullets, adding that the live rounds sent there were for the safety of the army team.
“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,”
“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.”