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#EndSARS: Army responsible for shooting at Lekki Toll Gate – Sanwo-Olu tells CNN



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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had in a media interaction with the CNN, revealed that the Nigerian Army carried out the shooting of unarmed peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos on Monday. The governor stated that the footages of the CCTV camera at the toll plaza showed that the security operatives involved in the #EndSARS Lekki shooting were officers of the Nigerian Army even when the Defence Headquarters of the Nigerian Army denied involvement or deployment of soldiers to Lekki Toll Gate, the scene of the shooting  of peaceful protesters.

According to the governor, “From the footage that we could see, because there were cameras at that facility, it seems to me that they would be men in military uniform. That’s what the footage shows.”

Sanwo-Olu in the interaction with Becky Anderson of the CNN stated: “Two dead bodies, that is what we have seen from all the morgues, that’s what we have seen going to hospitals, that’s what we have seen as record.

“What has happened is that there have been so many footages that were seen, that people have shown, but we have not seen bodies, we have not seen relatives, we have not seen anybody truly coming out to say I am a father or a mother to someone and I cannot find that person. Nobody has turned up. I have been to the ground, there is no scratch of blood anywhere there.”

Sanwo-Olu acknowledged that the demands of the #EndSARS protesters are genuine, saying he identified with the protesters from the onset and presented their demands to President Muhammadu Buhari for implementation. He expressed optimism of change in the polity.

“I genuinely believe there would be change. For two reasons, what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. Also, it was also a clarion call for all of us in government understanding and realizing what the youths want us to be doing. It hit all of us like a thunderbolt and it was just a wake-up call,” he said.

The governor affirmed that the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages will be part of the investigation by the judicial panel set up on the incident.

“People have claimed that their friends and family members have been killed or went missing over the years. That is what the judicial panel is meant to do. It is to answer all the unanswered questions and ensure justice. We will invite those who have one case or the other to try and identify those officers who were responsible,” he said.

The Lagos governor declared that he is absolutely committed to full investigation of the Lekki Toll Gate shooting. He, however, observed that discipline of the military or national security operatives is beyond his control, adding that he would submit the findings of the investigation to the appropriate authorities for actions.

“it is beyond my control to mete out punishment to those found culpable, however, I assure those responsible will be held accountable.

“I am not the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The report will be out, we will channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the State to ensure everyone that is found culpable is accountable for the act,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Though, the FSARS had been disbanded by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in the wake of the #EndSARS protest, Sanwo-Olu, however, declared: “it would be unfair to generalize everyone like that. Everyone agrees that there is a reform that needs to take place, there is a change that needs to take place, there is some truth that needs to come on board.

“I have been an advocate that indeed, they should be scrapped, let us have genuine reforms; and let us have a better conversation of how we police our citizens and the State, so that we can have more enduring citizens and police relationships.”

He added: “I think it is a group that has been ill-trained, they have been ill-motivated, they have not been fully equipped with standard operative template for them to know and appreciate the level of their level of responsibility in our society that’s why it seems that they just went off the cuff completely, probably also because they were not well remunerated and compensated, everybody that drives a flashy car, they feel they can extort. Unfortunately, that is condemnable.”


Several persons among the peaceful protesters were identified to have been injured in the military shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate, but Governor Sanwo-Olu had maintained that nobody was killed in the shooting. Some agents of government and consultants to certain politicians have been seeking scientific proof of killing in the Lekki Toll Gate shooting.


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