Lekki Shooting: CNN Investigation Alleges Use Of Live Bullets By Nigerian Army On Protesters


By Myke Agunwa

As the controversy surrounding the Lekki tollgate October 20 shooting continues to unfold, an International Media Organization known as The American Cable News network (CNN) said that its investigation has confirmed that Nigerian Army used live bullets on harmless peaceful protesters at Lekki tollgate and that several persons were killed during the incident.

The report further confirms an earlier investigation by Premium Times which alleged that several persons fell to the bullets of the military personnel sent to disperse protesters at the toll gate while others were injured.

Another report by an International Non-governmental Organization, Amnesty International also accused the military of using live ammunition on peaceful protesters, leading to the death of many persons.

A social media influencer, Obianuju Udeh, aka DJ Switch, who later found her way to Canada during the clamp down on #EndSARS promoters also streamed parts of  the shootings in her Instagram page, claiming that  she counted 15 dead bodies.

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CNN in its report released on Wednesday, named Victor Sunday Ibanga as one of the protesters that died on the night of the Lekki tollgate shootings.

CNN said that a forensic probe of the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the incident revealed that live bullets were fired at the protesters.

The report said that former Nigerian military including two ballistics experts confirmed that the shape of the bullet casings “match those used by the army”.

According to CNN, the investigative team worked with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and “established that several of the bullets from the Lekki toll gate originated from Serbia. Export documents discovered by CNN shows that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016”.

The Nigerian army had initially said that its men were not at the scene of the incident where hundreds of #EndSARS protesters gathered to demand an end to police brutality.

The Nigerian army later admitted that some personnel in training were sent but denied using live bullets, insisting that its soldiers used blank bullets and shot only into the air.

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The position of the Federal Government had been that no person died during the incident while those who were previously reported dead later came out to deny or that they died elsewhere before the October 20 shooting.

But a protester who testified before the judicial panel set up by the Lagos state government to investigate the incident claimed that he saw one dead body.

The Lagos state government in its earlier report claimed that no deaths were recorded before Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, the governor, revealed that two persons later died from bullet wounds.

But CNN said its probe of the incident showed that 27-year-old Ibanga died of bullet wounds sustained from the Lekki shootings, claiming that the police took his body away.

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According to the investigation, Elisha, Victor’s brother, received a call that he (Victor) had been shot dead and “that the police took his body away”.

CNN also quoted one Peace Okon as saying she has not seen her 18-year-old brother, Wisdom Okon, who went to the protest ground on the night of the shooting.  Okon was said to have relocated to Lagos only a few weeks before the incident.

”I’ve gone to hospitals; I’ve gone to police stations, I’ve gone to everywhere. I can’t find him,” his sister said.

CNN also reported that several families are yet to locate their loved ones since Lekki shooting.

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