Friday, November 27, 2020

In hindsight, we would not have acted differently: Nigerian Army

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A file image of the #EndSARS protesters in Lekki Tollgate, before the shooting.

The Nigerian Army has said that in hindsight it will not have taken a different course of action if it is again presented with a scenario similar to the incident of the October 20 shooting at the Lekki tollbooth.

The Army made the claim Saturday at the Lagos State Judicial Investigation Panel for the Restitution of Victims of Abuse and Other SARS Matters.

Representing the army was the brigadier general. Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81st Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island.

He made the claim while being questioned by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

“Given the same circumstances, the military would have acted in the same way. After each trade, we usually do an after-action review and get lessons learned.

“I have analyzed the toll gate problem with the same set of facts. We would not have acted differently, ”he said.

Responding to questions from Mr. Bernard Oniga, the attorney representing the NBA, the witness explained why the military did not take the alternative route avoiding the toll if they were clearing the Eti-Osa corridor as claimed.

“Discretion was in the hands of the commander, they were attacked by thugs and they responded,” he said.

Taiwo also denied that the military’s actions at Lekki Tollgate led to the wanton destruction of property and loss of life in Lagos.

“There were unjustified loss of life and destruction of property prior to the Lekki Tollgate incident. The loss of life on October 21 was in the Eti-Osa corridor and the loss of life was cult boys who settled scores.

“I saw businesses burned, some squares burned and others abandoned. I don’t know the connection between that and Lekki Tollgate Square.

“If they had reacted to the Nigerian army, they could have burned down an army barracks,” he said.

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