#EndSARS: Why soldiers deployed to Lekki toll gate won’t be revealed
NEWSMAN, Abuja – Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, said the military would not disclose the number of personnel deployed at the Lekki toll gate on the evening of the Lekki Shootings.
Army had initially denied involvement in the Lekki shootings, but later disclosed that its officers were invited by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to enforce a curfew imposed on the state last Tuesday.
While Amnesty International claimed that 10 persons allegedly died in the shootings, an eyewitness, DJ Switch, said about 15 protesters died. However, the authorities are yet to release official figures of casualties.
“It is against operational security. We don’t give that. It is against the policy of operational security. There is no problem here. The picture some people paint, as if we are fighting with the state government, is wrong”, Olaniyi said.
He also explained that it was not the duty of the judicial panel to invite the Army to answer questions regarding the reported shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza.
Olaniyi stressed that the army intervened in the Lekki tollgate incident based on a request from the Lagos State Government and that it would only appear before the panel based on same directive from the state government, PUNCH reported.
“If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?
“It is not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the (81) Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.
“It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state and not members of the panel”, he stated.