CNN Investigation Unravels Moments Nigerian Army Shot #EndSARS Protesters

Lekki toll gate shooting

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An investigation by CNN has shed more light on the alleged killing of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos last month by Nigerian authorities.

On October 20, 2020, some soldiers opened fire on young Nigerians seeking an end to police brutality but the Lagos State government, headed by Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, initially claimed no one was killed. He later admitted that only two fatalities were recorded. This was when he spoke with CNN.

On its part, the Nigerian Army first described the alleged shooting by its men as fake news. It later said soldiers were at the scene of the incident but only shot blank bullets into the air.

A Nigerian celebrity known as DJ Switch streamed the incident live on her Instagram page on the night the shooting happened, but the army authorities said it could have been photoshopped.

Thereafter, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said there was the possibility of those in army uniform seen in the trending video being hoodlums.

But almost a month after the incident happened, the international news platform has released the outcome of its investigation on the matter, speaking with those involved and their families.

“They pointed their guns at us and they started shooting,” one of the eyewitnesses, Sarah, whose last name was withheld for her safety, told CNN, adding that, “They were shooting in the air, they were shooting at us, they were shooting everywhere.”

According to CNN, from multiple videos, it pieced together a timeline that shows that shooting by the army lasted from 6:43 p.m. until at least 8:24pm.

It was revealed that evidence of bullet casings from the scene match those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials and that the casings indicated that they were purchased by the army from Serbia.

Both the Nigerian Army and the Lagos State government declined to react to the CNN investigation as the latter claimed it was waiting for the outcome of the panel it set up to look into the matter.

You can watch the full report HERE

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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