The Nigerian army on Saturday again dismissed as inaccurate, the Lagos State governor’s version of the Lekki tollgate shooting that shocked the world and initiated the setting up of a panel of enquiry.
A representative of the Nigerian Army who appeared before the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu “was misinformed about the Lekki shooting and that no one died or was injured at the incident”.
Ibrahim Taiwo, the Commander of the Nigerian Army, 81 Division and the Head of Intelligence corps of the Nigerian Army, said this on Saturday during his cross-examination.
The army and the governor had earlier differed when the former dismissed as lies the claims by the governor that he did not invite them to the protests at the tollgate.
The army had said the governor actually invited them, even though they (army) had initially denied being on the scene when the controversy first emerged.
‘Nobody died, injured’
“Probably the governor was misinformed, because no one died or was injured at the incident,” the official said on Saturday.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that Mr Sanwo-Olu confirmed two deaths from the Lekki shooting incident, while he said he visited 27 injured protesters at various hospitals around Lekki.
An investigation by PREMIUM TIMES also showed that many persons sustained injuries during the shooting, while at least two persons were confirmed dead in the shooting.
A CNN news report also confirmed there were casualties.
But the commander insisted that no one died or was injured in the incident despite the evidence.
The Saturday panel proceeding kicked off with the viewing of the CCTV footage of the Lekki incident.
The footage showed the arrival of soldiers at the Lekki Toll gate, but showed no clear picture of the shooting incident.
Mr Taiwo told the panel that the soldiers only fired blank ammunition into the air to disperse the protesters as part of its engagement.
When asked about the admittance of the state governor that two people died from the incident and his visit to about 27 injured protesters at the hospital, the commander said “the governor got the wrong information”.
While answering further questions about the incident, Mr Taiwo said the Army did not lie about the Lekki incident and that the initial denial of the presence of soldiers at Lekki on October 20 “was because the army authority had no full facts at the time”.
“The Nigerian Army was not sure of what had taken place and secondly nobody sent anybody to Lekki toll gate to break up any protests,” he said.
The commander added that he is not aware of the Nigerian Army tagging all reports of the shooting as “fake news” because he is not on Twitter “and has no knowledge of the account”.
The panel has admitted the CCTV footage and the videos presented by the army as evidence to aid investigation into the Lekki shooting incident.
The matter was further adjourned.