“The soldiers, they got both live and shiny bullets. In this particular case, we saw that these protests had been infiltrated by some air huts,” Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo said in his testimony to the legal panel in Lagos about the investigation into the incident.
“You had no doubt about peaceful protesters. But there were also Hoodlums who sought to take advantage. Therefore, they were armed [with] empty balls in addition to live [bullets] the bar. “
This is the first time that the Nigerian army has admitted to having live rounds at the Lekki payment gate. The Army’s statement also contradicts previous statements about the incident, including from Brigadier Taiwo himself, who previously told the justice panel that the soldiers were firing into the air and firing empty ammunition.
In the wake of the shooting, the army denied any involvement and described reports of the incident as “fake news”
The CNN investigation included evidence that bullet casings from the scene matched those used by the Nigerian army when they fired live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials.
Two ballistic experts also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicates that they used live rounds, contradicting the Army’s previous claim that they fired blanks.
Confirmed video footage – using timestamps and data from the video files – shows soldiers appearing to be firing at protesters. And reports from eyewitnesses state that after the Army withdrew, another round of shootings took place later in the evening by police, according to witnesses who spoke to CNN.
Police would not comment on CNN, but denied ever shooting at protesters in a tweet.
It painted a picture of how members of the Nigerian army and police shot at the crowd and killed
At least one person died and dozens more were injured.
Saturday’s admission from Nigeria that live rounds were broadcast is yet another in a series of constantly changing tales of what happened on October 20 at Lekki toll gate, where protesters gathered to demonstrate against police brutality.
On Thursday, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said the military “fired empty ammunition into the air.” He also dismissed the CNN investigation as “fake news” and “misinformation”.
A spokesman for the US State Department told CNN on Saturday that they “closely followed the Nigerian government’s response” to the events at the Lekki Toll Gate, saying: “We call for the investigation to be thorough, impartial and appropriately transparent and for the perpetrators to be held accountable. “