The Commanding Officer of the 65 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Salisu Bello, said that soldiers at the Lekki toll gate did not shoot at the protesters and that he offered water and drinks to the protesters that were “sitting down quietly”.
Bello said this in a statement on oath while appearing before the Lagos Judicial Panel, PUNCH reports.
He stated that upon arriving at the toll gate, he urged the protesters to go home and respect the imposed curfew, but hoodlums “threw stones, bottles and other dangerous objects at us”.
He continued by saying that blank ammunitions were fired “upward” to disperse the hoodlums and that they did “not fire at the protesters”.
“Nobody was shot dead at the Lekki toll gate”, Bello asserted.
He said, “On getting to the tollgate, I persuaded the crowd to go home and observe the 24-hour curfew declared by the state government. But surprisingly, the hoodlums continued throwing stones, bottles and other dangerous objects at us and were burning tyre.
“I again fired some blank ammunition upward to scare the hoodlums 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 not fire at the protesters. Blank ammunition were fired upward to scare the hoodlums from the crowd. Nobody was shot dead at the Lekki tollgate, there was no massacre as claimed. The claim that the military took away dead bodies was not true. The protesters were happy to see us as indicated in some of the video clips of 20th October 2020.”