The Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division, Major Osoba Olaniyi, has said that the Judicial Panel set up by the Lagos State Government, with the consent of President Muhammadu Buhari, to look into the Lekki toll gate shooting of peaceful EndSARS protesters on Tuesday night, October 20, cannot invite the Army to testify over the Lekki shooting.
The Army who initially denied involvement in the Lekki shootings, later disclosed that its Officers were invited by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to enforce a curfew imposed on the State.
Speaking in an interview on Sunday, Major Olaniyi stated that the Nigerian Army cannot release the number of the names of the Personnel deployed to the Lekki toll gate on the said night of the ordered shooting.
Asked about the number of Military Personnel involved, Major Olaniyi said: “It is against operational security. We do not 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.”
On the Judicial Panel, he stated that it is 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 gate.
His words: “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 toll gate) 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.”
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