#EndSARS protesters counsel, Mr Adesina Ogunlana have requested for the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu appearance before the State’s Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate the killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on Tuesday night of October 20, 2020.
The counsel said the governor will have to appear before the probing panel due to the military claim that their performance was on Sanwo-Olu’s invitation and also for the governor to exhibits his supposed belief in the rule of law.
During a cross-examination on Saturday, the Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, said the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, ordered the deployment of soldiers to the tollgate and other parts of the state that day following a request by the governor.
Taiwo said, “He (the governor) called the Chief of Army Staff, following which 81 Division, Nigerian Army was ordered into phase four of internal security operation; the call was in the afternoon, before 4pm.”
Meanwhile on Friday, Ogunlana when asked if the appearance of the governor was important to the case of his clients before the panel, he said, “Of course, that is taken (sic). That person (Sanwo-Olu) will have to come; he’s a factor and he will come. He says he believes in the rule of law, his Attorney General, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), has come to appear before that panel to just make a short speech and to affirm that the Lagos State Government is indeed committed to unraveling the truth about what happened at Lekki on that day; and the military has mentioned him, so, he is a factor.”
Though the Nigerian Army insisted that it did not kill any of the peaceful protesters, but Ogunlana maintained that “people died on my side.”
Ogunlana’s clients, Kamsiyochukwu Perpetual, Dabira Ayuku and Samuel Isah, in their affidavits of oath individually submitted to the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel, noted that soldiers and policemen shot and killed protesters.
Perpetual disclosed that at Reddington Hospital, Lekki the morning after the shootings, “The doctors refused us access to see the dead bodies. The media man waded in again and we could only see one of the dead bodies whose head was torn by (a) bullet fired to his head. He laid at the emergency unit. The doctor called the corpse ‘John Doe’.”
Ayuku, in her own petition, said, “The soldiers were asking people to run whilst they shot at them. I remember a particular soldier that kept dancing whilst he shot.”
Isah stated he witnessed how policemen gunned down a Nigerian flag-bearing youth.
He said, “That young man was hit by bullet in his head and died immediately, falling to the road with the Nigerian flag in his hand (sic).”
However, in contrary to the claim, Taiwo said soldiers used only blank bullets, which they fired into the air.
He said, “Blank expended ammunition contains only gunpowder, which just makes noise and a flash.”
According the general, a blank bullet “can do no damage to the flesh and you have nothing to fear except you take a rifle, put it against your eye and fire. Even if you put it against your skin and fire you will only have burn marks to show for it.”