ENDSARS: Despite victims’ accounts, Buratai insists there was ‘no single corpse’ at Lekki shooting
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DESPITE various accounts of victims, Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff has insisted that there was ‘no single corpse’ at the Lekki toll gate shooting on Tuesday, October 20, during the ENDSARS protests in Nigeria.
Buratai said this on Friday during the decoration of 39 newly promoted major generals in Abuja.
According to the Chief of Staff, there was no single corpse due to a spiritual warfare seminar organized by the Nigerian Army.
“I must say that the Spiritual Warfare Seminar we had last time helped us during the last #EndSARS protests to the extent that there was no single corpse, but some persons were seeing double at Lekki toll gate in Lagos State,” said Buratai.
He added that the Nigeria Army would continue to protect Nigerians in accordance with the ‘rules of engagement’.
“We will continue to protect every law-abiding Nigerian anywhere in the country and we will do that in accordance with the rules of engagement and confines of the constitution,” he added.
Contrary to Buratai’s claim, men of the Nigerian Army fired shots at peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos state during the ENDSARS protests.
Initially, the Army denied its presence at the scene before it was confirmed by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos state.
A few days after, the Nigerian Army said its operatives were at the scene but only fired blank bullets at the peaceful protesters.
However, the claimed ‘blank bullet’ has taken the lives of some, got some amputated and others gravely injured with bullet wounds, according to eyewitnesses at the scene and other video recordings.
An investigation by the Cable News Network, bullets casings found at the scene were confirmed by current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings match those used by the army.
The CNN also said two ballistics experts confirmed that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim that blank bullets were fired.
Lekki shooting victims appear before Judicial panel
On Friday, a counsel to victims of police brutality, Adesina Ogunlana, presented some victims of the October 20 shooting to the Lagos State Judicial Panel.
Edwin Augustine, one of the presented victims told the panel that a bullet pierced his thigh on the night of the shooting at the Lekki tollgate.
“I was shot on October 20 at the Lekki tollgate. I didn’t see who shot me. I was at the snooker board. I heard gunshots. The first one was in the air. The second was direct to people. I wanted to follow someone to the charging spot to collect my phone, but he was shot right beside his heart.
“Immediately he fell, I tried to turn and check what was wrong and I received mine (shot) on my thigh. I fell and I was there unconscious. When I woke up the next day, I saw myself at the hospital,” Augustine narrated.
Nathaniel Solomon, another victim at the panel, presented a picture of his late brother, Abouta, who was allegedly shot and killed during the shooting at the toll gate.
He said the remains of his brother was recovered from the Lekki Tollgate the same night the shooting occurred.
“I didn’t know when my brother left home for the tollgate. He never told me he was going there. He was living with me here in Lekki, at Marwa.
“Some boys called me. By then, my phone battery was flat, the phone had gone off. They called one of our brothers and told him that Abouta had been killed. So, we went there, found him on the grass, picked up his corpse and we went to St Paul’s Mortuary at Oyingbo.
“His corpse was at the Lekki tollgate. There were protesters around at the time. He was laid on the grass that was growing on the road divider in the middle of the road, that night when we took my brother’s corpse, we saw other people who had been shot, about four of them, on the ground. They were all dead,” said Solomon.