Army commander: Soldiers were attacked at Lekki tollgate but they still offered water to protesters

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Abuja (Sundiata Post) – commanding officer, 65 Battalion of Nigerian Army, Salisu Bello, says his men were attacked at Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, but they did shoot at protesters.

Army commander: Soldiers were attacked at Lekki tollgate but they still offered water to protesters

Bello made claim in his statement on oath filed before judicial panel probing Lekki .

of state had set up the panel as part of the to resolve the #EndSARS crisis.

Bello, who denied the report that soldiers killed some persons at the tollgate, said the protesters were happy to see them.

The army commander added that he personally offered the protesters water and drinks while persuading them to go home.

He said while he was moving towards the Lekki-Ajah Expressway around 6.45pm, he heard gunshots before the tollgate and on coming down he saw that the crowd had turned peaceful protesters to a mob.

“On getting to the tollgate, I persuaded the crowd to go home and observe the 24-hour declared by the state . But surprisingly, the continued throwing stones, bottles and other dangerous objects at and were burning tyre,” he said.

“I again fired some blank ammunition upward to scare the away. But some protesters who were still at the tollgate sitting down quietly were given water and drinks by me while pleading with them to go home.

“We did fire at the protesters. Blank ammunition were fired upward to scare the the crowd. Nobody was shot at the Lekki tollgate, there was no massacre as claimed. The claim that the military took away bodies was true. The protesters were happy to see as indicated in some of the video clips of 20th October 2020.”

The absence of the two youth representatives serving on the panel stalled proceedings on Saturday and the army could not testify.

Temitope Majekodunmi and Olorunrinu Oduala, representatives of the youth on the panel, had stayed away the panel to protest against the freezing of Oduala’s bank account over alleged sponsorship of the #EndSARS .

Doris Okuwobi, chairperson of the nine-member panel, had said due to the absence of Oduala and Majekodunmi, proceedings will not because the panel could not form a quorum.

“We are confronted with a situation which prevented her from coming. We do not know if the two youth representatives will eventually pull out,” she had said.

“We do not a situation where proceedings will go on and it is impugned that with controversy due to a lack of quorum.

“In all matters, we have to wait for them to join , without them we are handicapped.