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CNPP in a statement on Wednesday by its Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu, also wants Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff and Armstrong Idachaba, the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, to resign over what it described as “ignoble” roles played and “unpatriotic” attempts to cover up the incident.
“The CNPP has called for the immediate resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and the Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, for their ignoble roles in the shooting of unarmed protesters at Lekki Tollgate and the unpatriotic attempt to cover up the extrajudicial killings of Nigerians singing the national anthem while protesting killings of their compatriots by security forces,” CNPP read.
Reacting to an investigation by American Cable News Network (CNN) that detailed the event Lekki on October 20, CNPP called on “the International Criminal Court to investigate, arrest and prosecute various state actors and their co-travellers for crimes against humanity to serve as a deterrence to other African leaders who kill unarmed peaceful demonstrators, protesting bad policies of the government.
The Nigerian Army which had earlier denied its involvement in the shooting and later claimed that its men only went to Lekki to enforce a curfew imposed by the Lagos state government have continued to maintain that no casualty was recorded by the soldiers during their report.
Ahmed Taiwo, Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Saturday that troops deployed to the scene only fired blank bullets into the air to disperse the protesters.
He added that such blank bullets cannot cause any serious damage to life, citing that a live bullet had the power to kill three people with one shot.
However, a forensic investigation carried out by CNN investigation has revealed that operatives of the Nigerian Army shot #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate with live ammunition.
In the investigation published on Wednesday, CNN said it examined bullet casings found at the scene and confirmed with current and former Nigerian military sources that the bullet casings match those used by the army. Two ballistics experts have also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks.
Also, working with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, CNN established that several of the bullets from the Lekki tollgate originated from Serbia. Export documents CNN has seen show that Nigeria purchased weaponry from Serbia almost every year between 2005 and 2016.
The investigation revealed that soldiers who carried out the operation were from Bonny Camp barracks, Victoria Island.
CNN, with the help of videos uploaded on social media also traced families of some deceased who said they are still searching for the whereabouts of their loved ones.