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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 had been infiltrated by some hooligans,” Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo said in his testimony before the Lagos incident trial commission.

“Undoubtedly you had peaceful protesters. But there were also hooligans who tried to take advantage. That’s why they were armed [with] empty bullets in addition to live [bullets] they wore. “

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 Brigadier General Taiwo himself, who had previously told the court that the soldiers were firing into the air and firing 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 Nigerian army and police members shooting at the crowd, killing

At least one person was killed and dozens more were injured.

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 Leki’s toll gate, 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 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 the perpetrators responsible. “

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