Indications have emerged that the Nigerian Army has changed its decision to shun the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of peaceful protesters by soldiers on October 20 at the Lekki tollgate.
It was reliably gathered that the Nigerian Army has pledged to appear before the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel tomorrow (Saturday) to present its case.
Major Osoba Olaniyi, Spokesman for the Nigerian Army’s 81Division, Lagos, had reportedly said that the army would not honour a summons from the panel as the army believed that it was not the panel’s duty to invite the army.
Olaniyi had insisted that the military would only appear before the panel if it received an invitation directly from the Lagos State Government, and not the panel.
He had said, “If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?. It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So, if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state.”
But, according to multiple sources on Thursday, the army had changed its position and would be presenting its case before the panel on Saturday.
“Contrary to its earlier posture of resistance, the Nigerian Army seems to have bowed to pressure in respect of the invitation to appear before the Lagos panel on SARS. The Army will appear before the panel on Saturday. That is the day the panel has fixed for the Army to appear.” said one of the sources close to the panel, who spoke on condition of anonymity.