The Nigerian Army said they are not happy that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, denied inviting them to help restore law and order at the Lekki Tollgate, during the #EndSARS protests.
According to Channels, this disclosure was made by the Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, on Saturday, November 14, 2020, while making an appearance at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the state government to investigate cases of police brutality. He also presented videos as part of the evidence of the widespread violence that engulfed the state.
He said that there has been a lot of misinformation about the incident which were mostly targeted at the Nigerian army.
Brigadier Taiwo said, “The Nigerian army was not happy about two things. The first is his (Governor Sanwo-Olu’s) denial that he asked us to intervene when in actual fact, it was the proper thing to do. He called the Chief of Army Staff and the GOC 81 division and asked for intervention because the police had been overrun.
“I’m sure that after we have watched everything, we have seen that he had reasonable grounds to ask the army to intervene.”
Although the Lagos state governor is yet to make any categorical statement on who ordered the deployment of the army or even the shootings at the Lekki Tollgate, the army commander reemphasized their earlier position that officers were only deployed on the orders of the state government.
What you should know
It can be recalled that Babajide Sanwo-Olu expressed regret and shock at the shooting incident at the Lekki Tollgate and during an interview, said that the governors do not control the rules of engagement of the Nigerian army and attributed the unfortunate incident to forces beyond his control.
The Nigerian army who initially denied that their officers were involved at the Lekki Tollgate incident, later recanted and admitted they were there but only at the request of the state governor. They also denied shooting live bullets at the protesters.
The judicial panel which was set up about 3 weeks ago, is expected to look at all reported cases of police brutality so as to ensure justice for the victims and also to look at the Lekki shooting incident and unravel the circumstance that surrounds it.