IbrahimTaiwo, Commanderof the division, disclosed this on Saturday while testifying before the panel the Lagos State Government set up to probe the incident.
The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, the formation involved in the October 20, 2020 Lekki shooting of peaceful protesters, has said that soldiers went to the toll gate with live ammunition.
Ibrahim Taiwo, Commander of the division, disclosed this on Saturday while testifying before the panel the Lagos State Government set up to probe the incident.
While being cross examined by Olumide Fusika, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Taiwo insisted that no one was shot dead as soldiers only fired blank ammunition at the protesters and not live rounds.
He said that they were meant for the protection of the army team that was deployed to restore order in the state.
Despite evidence of people being killed and injured at the Lekki incident, the army representative said the soldiers only used blank bullets while their colleagues with live rounds were on ground to protect them from suspected hoodlums, who caused trouble.
This is the first time the Nigerian army has admitted having live rounds at the Lekki toll gate. The army statement also contradicts previous statements about the incident including from Taiwo himself who told the judicial panel previously that the soldiers were firing in the air and firing blank ammunition.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the army denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as “fake news,” before backtracking and saying that soldiers were present but fired their weapons in the air and used blanks, not live rounds.
The CNN investigation included evidence that bullet casings from the scene matched those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials.
Two ballistics experts also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s previous claim they fired blanks.