The acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi, says the military will not disclose the number of soldiers deployed in the Lekki toll gate.
The soldiers were reported to have shot peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20, 2020.
Though the Nigerian Army initially denied involvement in the Lekki shootings, it later said that its officers were invited by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to enforce a curfew imposed on the state.
However, the 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi, stated that it would be unprofessional to release the number of personnel deployed.
He said, “It is against operational security. We don’t give that. It is against the policy of operational security. There is no problem here. The picture some people paint, as if we are fighting with the state government, is wrong.”
Olaniyi stressed that it was not the duty of the judicial panel to invite the Army to answer questions regarding the reported shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
He further explained that the army intervened in the Lekki toll gate incident based on a request from the Lagos State Government.
Olaniyi added that the army would only appear before the panel based on same directive from the state government.
“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 not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the (81) Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.
“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 and not members of the panel,” he said.