#EndSARS: LCC Footage Shows Several Military Trucks Deployed To Lekki Tollgate

LCC presents footage from Lekki Tollgate to Lagos Judicial Panel on October 21. Photo: Editi Effiong @Twitter

 

Footage presented by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) has shown that several trucks said to belong to the Nigerian Army, were indeed deployed to the Lekki Tollgate area of Lagos State on October 20.

In the video presented on Saturday to the judicial panel of inquiry and restitution set up to investigate incidents of police brutality and extrajudicial killings, a number of trucks were seen arriving at the Lekki Toll Gate at about 6.43 pm on that day.

But after about three hours of watching the footage, the counsel to the #EndSARS protesters, Adeshina Ogunlana, who was earlier given access to the video complained that the footage is not the one that should have been played.

He claimed that a particular recording was skipped, explaining that he was given tapes tagged t1 and t1 full.

 

A videograb from the clips presented to the panel.

 

The panel is investigating the Lekki Tollgate shooting and other issues regarding the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and is hoping to unravel the circumstances surrounding the controversial intervention by the Nigerian Army during the #EndSARS protest.

At the resumption, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd), said she was calling up the Lekki Toll company first so that the footage of the happenings around the Lekki Toll Gate would be watched by all parties including the Nigerian Army.

The Army had initially denied its role in the incident, describing such reports as fake news.

They, however, later came out to admit that officers had been deployed to the area on the orders of the state government after a curfew had been imposed to quell the violence that erupted amid the #EndSARS protest.

But the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has yet to make any definite statement about the who gave the orders.

Addressing the panel last Saturday, Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, reacted to the situation saying: “the Nigerian army was not happy about two things. The first is his (Governor Sanwo-Olu’s) denial that he asked us to intervene when in actual fact, it was the proper thing to do,”.

Speaking of the incident itself, Brigadier Taiwo insisted that only blank bullets containing gunpowder were fired on that day.

According to him,  if real bullets were indeed fired, one bullet had the potency to kill three persons at one shot.

But the testimony contradicts what was seen in live footage from the scene.

Disc Jockey, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch was one of those who filmed the incident live on Instagram.


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In her live stream at the scene of the incident which immediately went viral at the time, many injured persons were seen, as some protesters tried to extract bullets from bleeding people after the men in military uniform had opened fire.

Some were also seen administering CPR to revive other injured victims.

It was also widely reported by some eyewitnesses that several had been killed and the security officers were clearing up the bodies – claims which the military immediately dismissed all as fake news.

A recent investigation from the Cable News Network, (CNN) also faults the claims of the military, raising more questions from Nigerians.

Reports Of Army Searching For DJ Switch ‘Further From The Truth’ – Brigadier Taiwo

DJ Switch

 

The Nigerian Army has denied reports that it set up a manhunt for Disc Jockey, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch.

The Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, who appeared before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Saturday, stated that the claims were “further from the truth”.

Since the shootings that took place at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, it had been widely reported that DJ Switch was being hunted by security agencies allegedly for streaming the incident live on Instagram.

In her live stream at the scene of the incident which immediately went viral at the time, many injured persons could be seen, as some protesters tried to extract bullets from bleeding people after the men in military uniform had opened fire.

 

 

Read Also: Nigerian Army Not Happy That Gov Sanwo-Olu Denied Inviting Us – Brigadier Taiwo

 

Some were also seen administering CPR to revive other injured victims.

It was also widely reported by some eyewitnesses that several had been killed and the security officers were clearing up the bodies – claims which the military immediately dismissed as fake news.

The incident came hours after the Lagos State Government declared a 24-hour curfew as part of efforts to stop the violence which had broken out in some parts of the state by criminal elements who have been hijacking the peaceful protests.

Seeking Asylum

There have also been reports that DJ Switch fled the country following threats to her life which immediately sparked various hashtags across social media, including #ProtectDJSwitch.

While her whereabouts remain sketchy, her boss, one half of the now-defunct P-Square group, Peter Okoye, last week confirmed that she was out of the country for safety reasons.

Some said she had sought and been granted asylum in Canada.

But the Canadian embassy in a recent statement clarified that individuals cannot directly apply for resettlement.

The embassy, however, did not make any direct reference to the DJ.

Army Gives Testimony As Lagos Panel Resumes Sitting

Commander 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, speaking before the panel on Saturday. Photo: Editi Effiong @Twitter.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate cases of police brutality and the incident at the Lekki tollgate area of the state has resumed its sitting with the Nigerian Army continuing its testimony.

Commander 81 military intelligence brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, speaking before the panel on Saturday, claimed that the events that culminated in the incident of October 20 at the Lekki Toll Gate had its remote causes in the wider EndSARS protest and its immediate causes in the lawlessness that ensued from October 18.
Brigadier Taiwo explained that the attack made the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to call on the army to interfere in the crisis and due to the urgency of the situation, the governor imposed a 24-hour curfew which was to commence at 4:00 pm on October 20 but was later shifted to 9:00 pm.

According to him, the time was not communicated to the Nigerian Army, and troops were deployed immediately upon receipt of the signal to activate phase 4, meaning immediate deployment of soldiers outside the barrack to help control the crisis of internal security.

He insists that the troops were not only deployed to the Lekki tollgate, but to other areas like Badagry, Ikorodu, Apapa, Alimosho, Epe, Lagos Island and the entire state to restore normalcy.

Brigadier Taiwo added that the army were shooting into the air at the Lekki tollgate and not at the protesters, backing his statement up with several video clips of what he says transpired that night.

Furthermore, he claimed that after the soldiers left the area, hoodlums went on to destroy the toll gate plaza.

He also insisted that the troops used blank bullets that contain gun powder, and cannot cause any damage to the flesh, and if real bullets were used one bullet would have killed three persons per shot.

Nigerian Army Not Happy That Gov Sanwo-Olu Denied Inviting Us – Brigadier Taiwo

 

Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier Ahmed Taiwo, has said that the Nigerian Army is unhappy that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, denied inviting them to come and restore calm at the Lekki Tollgate area of the state in the heat of the #EndSARS protests.

Brigadier General Taiwo said this on Saturday while addressing members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the state government to investigate cases of police brutality.

“The Nigerian army was not happy about two things. The first is his (Governor Sanwo-Olu’s) denial that he asked us to intervene when in actual fact, it was the proper thing to do,” he said.

“He called the Chief of Army Staff and the GOC 81 division and asked for intervention because the police had been overrun”.

Read Also: #EndSARS Protests: Army Insists Only Blank Bullets Were Fired At Lekki Tollgate

The Army Commander made the comments after presenting videos to the panel as part of evidence of the violence that had erupted across the state.

“I’m sure that after we have watched everything, we have seen that he had reasonable grounds to ask the army to intervene,” he added.

Who Really Gave Orders?

Brigadier Taiwo reiterated the army’s earlier position that officers were only deployed on the orders of the state government, particularly in relation to the events of October 20.

But on his part, the governor has yet to make any definite statements about who ordered the deployment or the shootings by the army.

At some point, he attributed the unfortunate incident to ”forces beyond his control” – a situation which has left many Nigerians puzzled over the facts of the matter.

Also in an interview with CNN, the governor said: “from the footage that we could see, because there were camera’s at that facility, it seemed to me that they will be men in military uniform which should be the Nigerian Army.”

When asked further if military forces ordered the shooting of the peaceful protesters, he said: “yes, they were there, that’s what the footage shows”.

Viral eyewitness videos from the scene of the shooting had shown several persons who sustained gunshot wounds, raising fears of multiple fatalities.

But contrary to what had been widely reported, the governor said only two persons are confirmed to have died from the incident so far.

“Two dead bodies. That is what we have seen from all the morgues, that is what we have going to hospitals, that is what we have seen as records.

“What has happened is, there have been so many footages that people have shown but we have not seen bodies.

“We’ve not seen relatives, we have not seen anybody truly coming up to say indeed I am a father or mother to someone and I cannot find that person.

“I have been to the ground and there’s no scratch of blood anywhere”.

The judicial panel which was set up nearly three weeks ago, is expected to look into the case, as well as other cases of police brutality with a view to ensuring justice for the victims.

In previous sittings, some survivors have come forward to share grisly details of their encounters in the hands of the rogue officials of the now-defunct unit at the heart of the protests – the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

One of the victims narrated how he had spent over a month in detention, and he was tortured to the point where he lost two of his teeth.

Another person said he had been thrown off a story-building and was now confined to a wheelchair after he broke his spine, while a woman alleged that she had lost pregnancies.

Read Also: SARS Officials Threw Me From A Two-Storey Building – Ndukwe Ekekwe

Military Kills Five Terrorists, Recover Cache Of Arms

Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche

 

Nigerian Army troops of Operation Lafiya Dole said they have neutralised five terrorists and recovered a cache of arms during an operation against terrorism in the North-East zone.

This was disclosed on Thursday by the coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche during a briefing in Abuja.

He explained that the continuous onslaught of the military against the insurgents and terrorism is yielding results.

“Troops executed attacks on terrorists’ hideouts and repelled attacks on own troops’ locations. During the encounters, the superior firepower of own troops resulted in the decimation of several BHT/ISWAP terrorist elements.

“Notably, between 7 and 8 November 2020, the gallant troops of 27 Task Force Brigade located at Buni Gari of Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State neutralized 5 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists. In the course of the encounter cache of Arms and Ammunition were recovered,” he said.

Enenche adds that in one of the operations conducted on November 8, 2020, troops of operation accord acting on credible intelligence on the movement of suspected gun runners at Tangaza town in Sokoto State arrested two suspects, Abubakar Mohammed and Ansi Usman Janare and recovered one light machine gun, four AK47 rifle magazines, 586 rounds of 7.62mm nato ammunition, 100 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and one motorcycle.

He, therefore, appealed to Nigerians and other residents to avail security agencies with the necessary information that will be useful to the nation’s collective objective of taking out the criminals from the country.

Military Kills 312 Bandits, Rescues 91 Kidnapped Victims

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche absolves the military of sabotage as claimed by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

 

As part of efforts to reduce insurgency to its barest minimum, the Nigerian Military says 312 bandits have been killed while 91 kidnapped victims have been rescued in the northwestern part of the country between July and September 2020.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche explained that scores of terrorists have been neutralized and their camps destroyed through the ground, maritime and air operations.

READ ALSO: Troops Kill 869 Criminals, Rescue 321 Kidnap Victims In Three Months

General Enenche while giving a breakdown of military operations within the last three months disclosed that 9,040,300 litres of stolen AGO and 33, 500.00 litres of DPK were recovered during various clearance operations by troops.

The General who is the Coordinator Defence Media Operations said 1, 708 criminals were arrested in connection with various crimes while a large cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered.

He urged members of the general public to continue to support the military by providing credible intelligence to troops operating within their localities.

Army Court Martial Sentences Soldier To Five Years In Prison

 

A Nigerian army corporal has been sentenced to five years in prison by a military court martial, after he was found guilty of defiling a 13-year-old girl in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.

Besides the five-year sentence, the court martial on Wednesday, also dismissed the corporal after the trial which lasted for over two years.

The 7-division General Court Martial of Operation Lafiya Dole had charged him for assault and defilement of the girl who had newly returned to her hometown after years of displacement in Maiduguri.

The prosecution had described in graphic details how Corporal Yakubu waylaid and raped the minor, abandoned her in an uncompleted building after beating her to unconsciousness.

The survivor who later gained consciousness staggered out and was sighted by a passerby who helped her home. Yakubu, on the other hand, had already fled the crime scene.

Military authorities commenced investigation when the assault was reported, leading to the identification of the suspect who had a ready-made alibi claiming that he had traveled out of Bama town on the “31st of June.”

The President of the Court martial, Brigadier-General Arikpo Ekubi, said the arraigned soldier in an attempt at defense, sought to back his claim that he was in Maiduguri at the time material to the case.

“A unit armourer from 202 tank battalion who kept a book to record passes tendered the book as exhibit “D” but it ended up strengthening the case of prosecution that the accused person traveled the very day of the incident as stated by the investigating police officer,” he explained.

According to him, “it is noteworthy that the accused person did not specifically deny assaulting the victim as he tried in respect of count one, he only relied on his failed alibi without debunking the glaring issue of assaulting the victim.”

The President of the court martial, Brigadier-General Arikpo Ekubi, while handing down the judgement described the actions of the corporal as barbaric and capable of dragging the name of the Nigerian Army in the mud.

“This court hereby sentence you as follows: Count 1: Five years imprisonment. Count 2: Dismissal from service. These sentences are, however, subject to confirmation by the prescribed authority as provided by sections 151 SS 1d and 157 ss 1b of the Armed forces Act,” Ekubi declared.

The dismissed soldier broke down in tears as he was escorted out of the courtroom.

Troops Of Operation Accord Neutralise Bandits, Recover Arms In Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.

 

Nigerian Army troops of the Operation Accord have neutralised two bandits and injured several others while conducting search and rescue/ clearance operations at Dajin Kajuru in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Major General, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, John Enenche on Tuesday.

According to Enenche, during the exploitation, two magazines, 36 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and two motorcycles were recovered.

Read Also: Court Dismisses El-Zakzaky’s No Case Submission, Orders Continuation Of Trial

In the same vein, the Force noted that following credible intelligence on the criminal elements who escaped from the onslaught earlier, troops apprehended three of the criminal elements in Kujeni village.

“Currently the gallant troops have dominated the area with aggressive patrols to deny the criminal elements freedom of action,” Enenche said.

He further noted that the Military High Command commends the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to intensify the onslaught against the enemies of our country.

Zulum Redeems N20m Pledge To Family Of Late Col Bako

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Executive Governor of Borno His Excellency Prof Babagana Umara Zulum has redeemed his pledge to the family of Late Col DC Bako and the 3 other soldiers that died with the senior officer in the course of defending the country.

This is according to a statement by the army spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa.

According to Colonel Musa, the governor redeemed the pledge when he visited the wife of the fallen hero, Col Bako this morning in Maiduguri.

“He was received by the Acting GOC, 7 Division Brig Gen AK Ibrahim. The Governor consoled the wife and family members of Col Bako and prayed for the repose of the late senior officer and the 3 other soldiers who paid the supreme prize along with him. He described him as a great patriot and formidable commander,” Colonel Musa stated.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Army Colonel Killed By Boko Haram In Borno

The governor used the opportunity to present a cheque of 20 million naira to Mrs. Bako, which he earlier pledged and also promised to redeem his pledge of getting the family a house.

The governor also donated 2 million naira each to the families of the 3 deceased soldiers; they are – Lance Corporal Nwobuji Desmond, Lance Corporal Adebiyi Oluwaseye, and Private Aliyu Ibrahim, whom he described as gallant and patriotic soldiers par excellence.

Colonel Musa noted in his communique that the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE hereby on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, officers, and soldiers of the Nigerian Army extends its immense appreciation to the governor for the kind gesture.

The army spokesman assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army is continuously determined and committed to ending terrorism and other insecurities in Nigeria.

Nigerian Army Colonel Killed By Boko Haram In Borno

 

Colonel D.C Bako of the Nigerian Army has been killed in a Boko Haram ambush.

The news of Colonel Bako’s demise was disclosed by the Force, in a communique late on Monday.

According to the newsletter signed by an army spokesman, Colonel Ado Isa, the fallen soldier was gallant and was one of the finest war heroes.

The statement further revealed that Col DC Bako always led from the front and was a patriotic Nigerian, who led a patrol to clear Boko Haram Terrorists from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa.

It was in carrying out his duty that the Colonel’s patrol team entered an ambush at about 10 a.m Sunday 20 September 2020.

“Under his able leadership, the troops cleared the ambush resulting in the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment.

“Sadly, however, he was wounded in action and immediately evacuated by the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment.

“The late senior officer was recuperating well after a successful operation at the hospital, in good spirit, and also said his prayers in the early hours of this morning before his sad passing on at the hospital. May Almighty Allah grant his soul eternal rest. Ameen,” the communique read in part.

In his reaction to the death, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen TY Buratai expressed his heartfelt condolences to his esteemed family, on behalf of himself, gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, and all well-meaning Nigerians.

The COAS said, “We are most grateful for his contributions and sacrifices to the motherland.

“May God grant eternal rest to the gentle soul of Col DC Bako and the souls of all Nigerian Army officers and soldiers who paid the supreme prize in the defence of our farther land”.

Nigerian Army Will Be Ruthless With Bandits, Cattle Rustlers, Others – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-general Tukur Buratai addresses officers in Katsina State.

 

The Nigerian Army has extended its operation to curb the activities of bandits, cattle rustlers, gunrunners, and other criminals in the North-West with a promise to go tough on the outlaws.

Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Nigerian Army announced this on Saturday in Faskari, Katsina State while speaking to journalists from the state and neighbouring Zamfara.

“Be rest assured that the troops are determined to deal decisively with any criminal element not only in the Northwest but also across the country,” he said.

‘Operation Sahel Sanity’, launched amid an upsurge in crime particularly the activities of bandits, rustlers, kidnappers, and gunrunners, will now continue until December.

 

 

The army boss, however, believes determination on the part of the army alone will not be enough to stop the criminal activities which have resulted in the loss of scores of lives in the region and sparked outrage over time.

To him, it would take more support from the people of the region who he said had already provided tremendous support for the army – leading to the killing of hundreds of bandits and arrest of hundreds more including their allies.

“I already said it that these people don’t come from the skies they are within us and most of the arrests that have been made in the towns and villages, they have relations in those communities and they visit them,” he said.

“As soon as we stop shielding these criminals, the sooner we will get the insecurity resolved in all our societies. We have so far improved on our intelligence gathering.”

 

In order to expose such criminals, Buratai expects people to disregard their relationship with them “no matter how tight and close” the relationship may be.

“Otherwise these criminals will one day turn against them,” he warned.

 

Successes

 

Since the army launched Operation Sahel Sanity it has announced successes several times and the army boss is impressed with the progress made so far.

His visit to Katsina is to access the progress of the operation, especially in Katsina and Zamfara states where the Special Army Super Camp is located, from where the operation is coordinated.

“I am impressed with the brief I had this afternoon with the level of commitment, dedication, and loyalty of the troops,” he said.

Under the operation, the army boss added, “The troops have shown courage and determination to resolve the security challenge that has bedevilled the region.

“They tamed to the barest minimum, the issues of kidnapping, cattle Rustling, armed banditry, and gunrunning across the border among others.”

He, however, does not want the army to slow down and decided to extend the operation to ensure that “the desired result is achieved”.

Apart from acknowledging the troops and the people of the region for their support so far, Buratai praised members of the press in Katsina and Zamfara states.

“Their reportage, commentaries, and general assessment have been quite encouraging,” he said.

On Saturday, September 5, 2020, that army announced that troops of Operation Sahel Sanity had over two months killed 100 armed bandits, arrested 148 of them, and recovered about 4,000 cattle.

In addition to that, a total of 3,984 cows, 1,627 sheep/rams, and three camels were recovered while 148 suspected bandits were arrested along with 315 illegal armed miners.

Boko Haram: Buratai Visits Wounded Soldiers In Kaduna

 

The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai on Sunday visited wounded soldiers who are undergoing treatment at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna state, with a promise to improve their welfare and also prays for their quick recovery.

Most of the soldiers are those that were injured while fighting with the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast and armed bandits in the northwest zone.

During the visit, the Army Chief had lunch with the injured soldiers and personally joined in serving the meals.

Buratai while noting that the fight against insurgency is a collective effort that requires determination, however, assured to improve on the welfare of the soldiers including ensuring that all those in critical condition are giving proper medical attention.

He also said that despite recording some challenges in the counter-insurgency operations, including deaths and injuries, the Nigerian army is determined to end the insurgency in the northeast and other related crimes across the country.

On their part, some of the soldiers express delight at the visit of the Chief of Army Staff, and also declared their willingness to go back to the battlefield as soon as they get on their feet.

READ ALSO: Insurgency: NDA Cadets Complete 3-Week Special Combatant Training