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Nigerian Army admits to having live tours of Lekki Toll Gate, despite previous refusals

“Both soldiers were given both live and empty bullets. In this particular case, we saw that these protests were infiltrated by some hooligans,” Brig said. General Ahmed Taiwo testified before the Lagos Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the incident.

“No doubt you have peaceful protesters. But there were also hooligans who were trying to take advantage. That’s why they were armed with empty bullets in addition to the live bullets they were carrying.”

This is the first time the Nigerian military has admitted to having live tours of Lekki’s toll gate. The army’s statement also contradicted previous statements about the incident, including by Taiwo himself, who had previously told a judicial commission that soldiers fired into the air and fired empty ammunition.

After the shooting, the army denied any involvement, describing reports of the incident as “fake news”

; before going back, and said soldiers were present but fired their weapons into the air and used blanks rather than live ammunition. .

The CNN investigation includes evidence that the shell casings at the scene matched those used by the Nigerian military in live shooting, according to current and former Nigerian military personnel.

Two ballistics experts also confirmed to CNN that the shape of the shell casings showed that they had used live cartridges, which contradicted the army’s previous claim that they had fired blanks.

The CNN report is based on the testimony of dozens of witnesses and photos and videos obtained and geolocated by CNN. The Nigerian military has not responded to numerous requests for comment before CNN’s story was broadcast and published.

Verified videos – using timestamps and video data – show soldiers appearing to be firing at protesters. And eyewitness accounts show that after the army withdrew, a second police shooting took place later in the evening, according to witnesses who spoke to CNN.

Police did not want to comment on CNN, but denied ever shooting at protesters on Twitter.

He paints a picture of members of the Nigerian army and police firing on the crowd, killing at least one person and wounding dozens more.

Read and watch CNN's full investigation

Saturday’s confession from Nigeria that live rounds were used is another in a series of ever-changing stories of what happened on October 20 at the paid gate of Leki, where protesters had gathered to demonstrate against police brutality.

On Thursday, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said the military was “firing empty ammunition into the air”. He also dismissed CNN’s investigation as “fake news” and “misinformation.”

A U.S. State Department spokesman told CNN on Saturday that they were “closely following the Nigerian government’s response” to the events at Lekki Toll Gate and said: “We insist that the investigation be thorough, impartial and appropriately transparent and that perpetrators be held accountable. responsible. “

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