The Nigerian Army has officially admitted its involvement in the shooting at the Lagos #EndSARS protest venue in Lekki Tollgate area of the State.
The Acting Deputy Director Public Relations of the 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Lagos, Major Osoba Olaniyi, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
Olaniyi said it was the Lagos State Government that called in the Army after a declaration of curfew by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on October 20, 2020.
But Sanwo-Olu on October 21, 2020 denied that the State Government called in the Nigerian Army.
The Army spokesman said in the statement: “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza. This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country.
“At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian. From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.
“However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24- hour curfew was imposed.
“This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
“The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.
“The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for Internal Security operations and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Internal Security operations.
“Finally, Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.
“This allegation is the hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army. The general public is hereby enjoined to discountenance this allegation as there is no iota of truth therein.”